This photo illustrates the usefulness of aerial photography. The pool below would look good from any angle, but the overhead view adds a unique perspective on this 90-foot lap pool with automatic pool cover.

It takes a little while for an APC to cover 30 yards of water — one minute and 50 seconds to be exact. A high-torque motor was needed to furl and unfurl such a long piece of vinyl, but other than that, it's a standard unit from Automatic Pool Covers (Westfield, Ind.) housed in a gunite retainer with a concrete lid. Even at this distance you can tell the builder, Bob Gilliana at Gilliana Pools (Merrillville, Ind.), did a tidy job.

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The homeowner is a swim coach and his child is a competitive swimmer, so the pool's length is ideal for training purposes. They say they use the pool nearly every day between April and November, a long swim season for a northern state like Indiana, which is facilitated by the heat savings of an APC.

The APC market continues to grow due to their undeniable benefits: convenience, safety and economy (covering a pool prevents the loss of water, chemicals and heat, which saves on maintenance costs in the long run).