Have a small yard and not enough money for a regular pool? You respite from the summertime heat might be a stock tank pool.

Summer in Philadelphia is sweltering hot. With today being the first official day of summer, I’ll bet that you’ve figured that fact out already. By now, you are undoubtedly desperate for a way to cool off. If you are lucky enough to live in a post condo, it’s possible that your building has a pool. But Philadelphia’s real estate landscape is stocked with cozy townhomes that have only a tiny strip of backyard. A regular pool is out of the question. On top of which, pools are a major hassle. There are chemicals to balance, leaves and other debris to skim constantly, and finicky filter components to maintain. You don’t need all that nonsense. What you need is a stock tank pool.

Stock tank pools are exactly what it says on the label – they are made of a stock tank, or a wide tub meant to water livestock. At their very biggest, stock tanks are only 8 feet across. They are, on average, about two feet deep, so there’s no diving allowed, but there is just enough room for two adults or a few kids to splash around and escape the heat. The stock tank pool is a very hip thing right now, with tons of Pinterest and Instagram appeal. It’s interesting to note, however, that as long as there have been farms and farmkids, there have been little ones bathing in animal troughs.

Setting up your own stock tank pool is easy enough. You can order a kit online, or assemble everything yourself as a weekend project. Make sure you buy a tank with a spigot to drain the water if needed, or else you’re going to need a drain kit. You want a tank made of weatherproof galvanized metal so that your little pool will last from year to year. Once you get your stock tank, which you can find at a local farm and seed supply store’s online site, you just need a small filter (to keep the water moving so it doesn’t attract mosquitoes) and a modest chemical set-up. Talk to your local pool supply to find out what chemicals you need to keep your stock tank pool running cleanly.

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