How Much Does it Cost to Fill a Pool with Water?

Underwater shot of a man who has just dived into an inground swimming pool

If you’ve never owned a swimming pool, the prospect of filling it with water for the first time can be intimidating. Most of us have been trained from a young age not to run up the water bill by taking long showers or letting faucets run. Based on this conditioning, you might expect to pay a terrible price for using 15,000 or more gallons of water in one shot.

But on the contrary, the cost of filling up a swimming pool with water is generally pretty cheap – at least in comparison to what you’re paying for installation. While you might hear about people spending hundreds of dollars for pool water delivery, most new pool owners can simply fill ‘er up with a garden hose (or two). Your next water bill might be a record high for your household, but if the water rates in your neck of the woods are anywhere near the 2023 national average, it’s not going to break the bank.

But before you let the water flow, you should make a couple of calls to make sure you’re doing the right thing. First, talk to your pool builder to make sure there aren’t any issues with gradually filling your pool over many hours. Second, place a call to your water company to get an accurate idea of what you will pay – since they get a lot of inquiries like this, they may even quote you a bottom-line figure based on your pool’s size.

Do the Math

If you’re already in the process of building a pool, you likely know how many gallons of water it will hold. Otherwise, you can use one of the many pool volume calculators on the internet to find out. Geometric pools are relatively easy to calculate, while freeform pools are a bit more complicated. However, in all cases the volume is based on the surface measurements of your pool along with its average depth.

Most swimming pools fall in the range of 15-30,000 gallons (though many pools fall outside that range). That might seem like a lot of water, but it’s probably not that much more than what you’re already using every month. According to the EPA, the average family of four can use 400 gallons of water per day, or 12,000 gallons per month.

It varies a lot from place to place, but the average price of water in the U.S. in 2009 was just $2 per 1000 gallons. The average has undoubtedly risen a lot since then and is probably higher where you live, but the fact remains that most people who can afford a pool can easily afford the cost of filling it with municipal water.

Bulk Water Delivery For Swimming Pools

Having said all that, there are some advantages to having your pool water hauled in. The most obvious one is convenience. With swimming pool water delivery, you don’t have to babysit a garden hose for hours until the pool is topped off, and you get to use your new pool sooner – possibly even right away. Your pool builder may even be able to arrange to have chlorinated water delivered for you, making it a completely “hands off” task.

More importantly, if you’re on well water, filling from your household supply may not even be an option. You could run out of water before the pool gets filled, or leave your family without water for days.

Another benefit: Filling the pool rapidly with multiple hoses from a water truck might be the best way to reveal any leaks in your new pool. People who specialize in pool water delivery are known to be pretty adept at spotting issues and shutting things down before you have a flood on your hands. In any case, it’s not a bad idea to have your pool builder supervise the filling just in case there’s a problem.

Finally, hiring a pool filling service makes more sense in some areas than others. It’s doubtful that it would ever be cheaper than filling up with city water. However, if you live somewhere where the cost of water is very high, then the additional cost to have a truck bring it in might seem minor. Especially since it likely buys you at least one extra day of enjoying your new swimming pool.

7 thoughts on “How Much Does it Cost to Fill a Pool with Water?”

  1. Our water and sewer charge combined in 2016 is currently about $6 per 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons. That means it would cost just $200 to fill a 25,000 gallon pool, about 10% of what our local pool bulk water haulers are charging. Save money. Buy a 3/4 or 1.0 inch garden hose, instead of the standard 5/8 inch, and that pool will be filled quickly. Do a search for: gym flow with 3/4 inch hose. The calculator I found said that with a 1) 3/4 inch hose and 2) 50 psi hose supply pressure and 3) a 100 ft hose, the water rate is 20 gpm and would take about 21 hours. If the hose supply was a weak 40 psi, it would still take only about 23 hours. Get a 1 inch hose and it’ll be done way faster.

  2. I have a 31000 gallon new pool and I payed $3400 for bulk water delivery. Did not use city water because I’m on a low yield well in a rural area. Northern CA.

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