Stock Tank Pools Are Officially Trending Again (No Surprise!)

Jessica Leigh Mattern, Rebekah Lowin
·3 min read
Stock Tank Pools Are Officially Trending Again (No Surprise!)

As temperatures rise and you're busily brainstorming fun summer activities, the idea of installing a pool in your backyard probably seems more and more tempting.

That is, until you learn that the average cost of a backyard pool is around $20,000 to $30,000. Whaaat?!

Here's an idea: Instead of dropping a ton of cash just to stay cool for a few hours at a time this summer, you may want to consider the humble, yet far more affordable, galvanized stock tank swimming pool (also known as a "water trough pool"). These inexpensive farm staples were originally designed as water troughs for livestock, it's true. But that's part of their country-chic appeal. Nowadays, stock tank swimming pools have been popping up in backyards across the country. They do require a bit of maintenance, but it's not hard to avoid common stock tank pool problems.

They're easier to set up too. Once you've chosen a relatively flat area in your yard, all you have to do is seal it off, plop down your stock tank swimming pool, and maybe add a pump, which makes it easier to fill and clean.

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Brandon Coston built his McKinney, Texas, pool with Justin Preston of Barn Dance Design. He combats the summer sun with an oversize umbrella, and added pool noodles as head rests.

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Maintaining the tub isn't too difficult either. Simply drain it after use, or make your life even easier by using a filter.

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"We use an above ground pool pump/filter," Annie McCreary, owner of one such stock pool, wrote on Instagram. "We do add chlorine as needed, just like a regular pool/spa. I test it daily with the pool strips, [and], I shock it once a week—so easy! If it gets too funky, it's easy to drain and re-fill."

And while we love the look of the standard galvanized metal all on its own—so rustic-chic—you can also opt to customize or enhance the look of the pool to complement your home's style. Some stock tank swimming pool owners add surrounding rock tiles to provide makeshift flooring, while others splurge on premium wooden decks and siding.

Photo credit: Hannah Cornett
Photo credit: Hannah Cornett


Hannah Cornett added this adorable (and practical!) "No Diving" message to her pool by using a stencil and Flex Seal Liquid Paint. Her setup has a partial deck and patio, perfect for lounging in the sun.

For between $200 and $400, plus the optional cost of a pump, you can easily add a country pool to your yard this summer. So what are you waiting for? Dive in! And once you do, check out our tips on dealing with stock tank pool problems and keeping your new backyard oasis clean—then grab a few pool floats to make it all the more fun.

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