Essential Pool Safety Tips for Parents

Gordon BeforePools are the perfect home addition for families, but there are some extra precautions that should be taken with pool design for homes with children. Parents not only need to worry about the safe design of a pool, but they also need to fill the role of lifeguard with constant supervision when their kids are in the water. Below you can get a closer look at the steps you’ll need to take to create a safe environment outdoors where your kids can have fun.

Keep the pool off-limits with perimeter fencing

Children should not have access to the pool when it is not time to swim, so you will want to have a perimeter fence or wall surrounding the water. Features such as a self-locking gate and pool alarm systems can provide added security by creating an alert system to warn you if your child is near the pool unattended.

Teach your children proper water safety

If your child has confidence in the water with strong swimming and pool safety skills, he or she will be able to act quickly when there is an unexpected situation. You should teach your child to stay away from pool drains and pipes to avoid becoming trapped under water.

Brush up on CPR and first aid

While prevention is the best strategy for pool safety, you should know the right responsive techniques for an emergency. CPR and first aid can be life-saving tools when used correctly, so you might take a class for CPR certification before your residential pool is installed.

To create an outdoor oasis with beautiful design and the right safety features for your family’s needs, call Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools and Gardens at (520) 323-2627. We can help you plan a simple pool design or renovate your entire outdoor space with a complete range of pool construction and landscaping services in Tucson.

Finding the Right Pool Safety System for Your Home

ThinkstockPhotos-514677675Any pool should have safety measures in place, but in homes with young children, safety systems are an absolute necessity to avoid accidents that can take place in and around the water. Children should only ever use the pool when they are fully supervised, so a safety system might be needed to ensure that kids are unable to get in the water when adults are not around. The right safety plan for your pool may include several components that work in conjunction with one another to ensure a fail-proof system.


Physical barriers such as gated walls or fences can keep children away from the pool and help to hinder unwanted intruders such as pets or local wildlife. These barriers can be decorative and functional, offering aesthetic appeal to your space. With any physical barrier, it is important to have self-closing, self-latching gates to control access to the water.

Alarm Systems

You can easily set up an alarm system that will alert you when a door or gate that accesses the pool has been opened. Alternatively, you might use floating alarms or wave alarms that sound when water is displaced. In either case, these alert systems will help you stay aware of when someone is in or near the pool, allowing you to effectively supervise the situation. With modern home automation systems, pool alarms can send alerts to your phone so that you can monitor the backyard even when you aren’t home.

Safety Covers

Safety covers for pools and spas are hard, retractable covers that can hold the weight of at least two adults and one child. These covers may be manual or motorized, and they are easy to operate for quick removal when needed. Safety covers can effectively restrict access to the water and help to keep debris out of the water when the pool is not in use.

Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools & Gardens can allow you to design a pool that is beautiful, functional, and safe for your family. To explore our design and construction services in Tucson, call us at (520) 323-2627.

Why You Don’t Have to Settle for an Outdated Pool Design in Your Tucson Home

ThinkstockPhotos-152143109If you are living in an older home that has a pool with lackluster design, you might explore pool remodeling services that can revamp the look of your backyard. Pool remodeling can range from one or two small upgrades to a complete renovation, depending on your needs and budget, so you should not hesitate to explore the options available for your Tucson home. Keep reading for a look at the services offered by Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools & Gardens for pool renovation in Southern Arizona.

Decking renovations

A pool surrounded by plain concrete or boring beige decking might not create the welcoming outdoor lagoon that you want to see in your home. Pool design has trended toward more natural themes with stone pavers, rock features, and waterfalls, which are all easily incorporated without significant changes to the pool structure.

Pool redesign

You may be surprised at how much you can change the appearance of your pool with a new shape, size, or finish inside the pool. Whether you opt for new plaster, ceramic and glass tiles, or the stunning appeal of Pebble Tec, you can dramatically change your pool with resurfacing.

Safety and maintenance upgrades

A pool renovation may go beyond aesthetics, since older pools can require structural repairs, upgraded safety features like fencing or alarm systems, or more advanced and efficient cleaning and heating systems. With more functional upgrades such as these, your pool renovation may pay off in the long-run with minimized maintenance and reduced energy costs.

Lighting additions

Both underwater and landscape lighting can optimize the use of your pool, creating a beautiful atmosphere to enjoy once the sun goes down. Colorful and energy-efficient LED lights can offer a wide array of color and design schemes that will fit into any pool space.
To begin discussing the details of your pool renovation in Tucson, call Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools & Gardens at (520) 323-2627.

Native Landscaping Ideas for Your Outdoor Renovations

ThinkstockPhotos-185426426The Sonoran Desert offers a unique natural landscape with abundant plant and animal life adapted to the hot, dry climate. With so much beauty surrounding your home, it makes sense to include native elements in your planned landscape rather than opting for plants and features that are imported from other regions. Native landscaping also minimizes your home’s environmental impact and sustains regional wildlife, so it makes sense to use the following ideas for your landscape redesign.

Incorporate native plants
Many non-native plants that homeowners are drawn to are invasive species that can steal resources from native species and create an imbalance in the local ecosystem. While most people envision a landscape of thorny cacti when thinking about native plants in Southern Arizona, there are actually many choices when it comes to trees, vines, shrubs, and wildflowers. Working with a landscape professional will allow you to see the full array of your native plant choices.

Steer clear of grass
Grass is a fixture for lawns in many regions of the country, but it simply does not make sense in the desert. Planting grass in your yard can lead to extensive maintenance and staggering water bills, so you might select a more eco-friendly option like gravel, which pairs beautifully with natural stone walkways.

Implement a water harvesting system
While native plants will reduce how much water you need to use to sustain your landscape, you will still need an irrigation system to keep your plants healthy. With rainwater harvesting, you can recycle this precious resource and lower your water bills.

For any outdoor renovations including landscaping, pool restyling, gardens, and rainwater harvesting, call Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools & Gardens at (520) 323-2627. We offer comprehensive landscaping services and maintenance throughout the Tucson area.

Alternatives to Chlorine to Keep Your Pool Water Sparkling

ThinkstockPhotos-99020435Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to swimming in a backyard pool is the irritation that chlorine may cause. Chlorine is an effective cleanser for pools, but it has many downsizes such as a pungent odor, eye and skin irritation, and the potential for allergic reactions. Many homeowners have the misconception that salt water pools will eliminate chlorine and reduce these irritating qualities, but salt water pools actually do contain chlorine; they just produce their own chlorine with a self-sustained system. There are, however, some chemical alternatives to chlorine that can be effective for sanitizing and oxidizing your pool, and these are discussed in greater detail below.


As a close cousin to chlorine, bromine can do similar work in killing harmful bacteria without the irritation of chlorine, though it is not as effective in oxidizing pool water. Therefore, bromine on its own may leave water with a green tint, so many homeowners will opt for a bromine and chlorine combination. One clear advantage of bromine is its stability at high temperatures, which makes it common for use in spas.


An ozonator is an addition to the filtration line of the pool that pumps ozone gas into the water to react with bacteria and other impurities. These devices are highly effective in the Tucson climate, since they run best on dry air. Ozonators do not completely eliminate the need for chlorine, but they can reduce use by as much as 90%.


PHMB, or polyhexamethylene biguanide, is the only true alternative to chlorine, since it is actually completely incompatible with chlorine. PHMB works by trapping particles from bacteria in a gel that will sink to the bottom of the pool where a vacuum system will suck it up. It is much gentler on skin, hair, and eyes, and offers lower maintenance than other pool chemicals. If you do make the switch to PHMB, you will need to drain your pool and rinse off all pool gear to avoid a reaction with lingering chlorine.

With the help of Carl Ragel’s Natural Pools & Gardens, you can find the ideal solutions for your residential pool in Tucson. To connect with us for a look at your pool cleaning and filtration options, call us at (520) 323-2627.