Protect yourself from recreational water illnesses

While pool staff regularly check both chlorine and pH levels to protect swimmers and their families from recreational water illnesses (RWIs) in public pools, it’s important you maintain your own pools chemical balance as well. Chlorine and pH are the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.

Here’s information as posted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

What does chlorine do?

Chlorine kills germs in pools–but it takes time to work. Therefore, it’s important to make sure chlorine levels are always at the levels recommended by the health department (usually between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm).

Why does chlorine need to be tested regularly?

All sorts of things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmers’ bodies. That’s why chlorine levels must be routinely measured. However, the time it takes for chlorine to work is also affected by the other member of the disinfection team, pH.

Why is pH important?

Two reasons. First, the germ-killing power of chlorine varies with pH level. As pH goes up, the ability of chlorine to kill germs goes down. Second, a swimmer’s body has a pH between 7.2 and 7.8, so if the pool water isn’t kept in this range then swimmers will start to feel irritation of their eyes and skin. Keeping the pH in this range will balance chlorine’s germ-killing power while minimizing skin and eye irritation.

What else can be done to promote Healthy Swimming?

The best way to kill germs is by routinely measuring and adjusting both chlorine and pH levels. Since a few germs can survive for long periods in even the best maintained pools, it is also important that swimmers become aware of Healthy Swimming behaviors (don’t swim when ill with diarrhea, don’t swallow pool water, take frequent bathroom breaks, and practice good hygiene). Combining Healthy Swimming behaviors with good chlorine and pH control will reduce the spread of RWIs.

Platinum pools strongly recommends that pool owners remain vigilant and maintain a healthy balance of chemicals to keep pools clean and sanitized all year long.

How Swimming Can Reduce Health Care Costs

In a recent white paper by Dr. Tom Lachocki, CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, Dr. Lachocki discusses how poor exercise habits, obesity, soaring healthcare costs and drowning — are related. In the paper, Dr Lachocki lays out a path toward a healthy and physically active society with fewer tragic water-related deaths and reduced healthcare costs.

Dr Lachocki outlines how physical inactivity, an aging baby boomer society, and obesity will continue to drive up healthcare costs and suggests that aquatic activity is a perfect solution for addressing these issues.

His position makes a great deal of sense, especially for senior citizens and people struggling with obesity. After all, water’s buoyancy reduces stress on joints and reduces risk of falls and injury. Additionally, he states, “Water’s mass increases cardiac and respiratory exercise, making aquatic activity ideal for historically sedentary and aging populations.”

With regards to health care costs, it also makes sense that healthier older adults and fewer obese people would bring down health care costs.

In the end, Dr Lachocki concludes “Pool, spa, and aquatic businesses, associations, health focused
organizations, and government must commit to supporting organizations that teach people to swim. More
swimmers will result in a healthier society, fewer drownings, and reduced healthcare costs, with more people engaged in a healthy spectrum of aquatic activities.”

If you would like to read the entire paper, please click here.

Platinum Pools couldn’t agree more and we are proud of our recent involvement in providing 500 free swimming lessons for children in Arizona.

Meritage Homes & Platinum Pools and Spas to Provide 500 Beginner Swim Lessons

Program kicks off on May 15 in honor of International Water Safety Day

Custom pool build and remodel

In an effort to keep Arizona kids safe this summer, Meritage Homes and Platinum Pools and Spas have partnered with the Valley of the Sun YMCA and donated $25,000 to provide beginner swim lessons for 500 children.

“The Y and Platinum Pools has been a leaders in water safety. The YMCA launched the nation’s first water safety and learn-to-swim campaigns in 1906,” said Jim Diaz, Vice President of Marketing at the Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Teaching children how to swim and educating parents on the basics of water safety saves lives.”

The Meritage Homes & Platinum Pools and Spas Water Safety at the Y program will kickoff on May 15 in honor of International Water Safety Day and feature day-long community open house events at all 15 Phoenix-Metro area branches. Additionally, each branch will host an open swim from 4-6 p.m. with family pool games, water activities and safety tips from swim instructors.

“Meritage is more than just a homebuilder, we consider ourselves a part of the community,” said Sherri Fastrich, Meritage Homes Regional Marketing Director. “It was important to us to support the YMCA and do our part to keeps kids safe this summer.”

As we head into the summer months, children are often attracted to backyard swimming pools, and without proper safety training, that temptation all too often can result in a tragedy. According to childrensafetyzone.com, there have already been 30 water related incidents in Arizona, including one child fatality.

“We design our custom pools and spas to provide fun, entertainment and exercise for homeowners,” said Sam Lewis, Owner of Platinum Pools and Spas. “The beginner swim lessons program with the YMCA is our way of adding a layer of protection for children in an effort to make a positive contribution towards youth water safety.”

For more information visit: ValleyYMCA.org.

 

Arizona Pool Owners Legal Responsibility.

Each year, too many children in Arizona are victims of drowning or near-drowning. Arizona legislature has passed laws in order to help protect children from gaining unsupervised access to residential pools. Here are a few of the requirements as posted by the ADHS Office of Environmental Health:

Pool Enclosure Requirements

At a residence with a swimming pool where one or more children under six years of age live in the residence:

A.R.S. § 36-1681 requires that a swimming pool be protected by an enclosure (wall, fence, or barrier) that surrounds the pool area. Unless a local code provides otherwise, the enclosure of a belowground or aboveground pool must:

  • Entirely enclose the pool area;
  • Be at least 5 feet high;
  • Have no openings other then doors or gates, through which an object 4 inches in diameter can pass;
  • Have no openings, handholds, or footholds accessible from the exterior side that can be used to climb the barrier; and
  • Be at least 20 inches from the water’s edge.

If, however, a residence or living area makes up part of the enclosure required by A.R.S. § 36-1681(B), there must be:

  • A wall, fence, or barrier located between the swimming pool or other contained body of water and the residence or living area that:
    • Has a height of at least four feet;
    • Has no openings through which a spherical object four inches in diameter can pass;
    • Has a gate that opens outward from the pool and is self-closing and self-latching;
    • Has no openings, handholds, or footholds accessible from the exterior side of the enclosure that can be used to climb the wall, fence, or barrier; and
    • Is at a distance of at least twenty inches from the water’s edge;
  • A motorized safety pool cover that requires a key switch and meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards in F1346-91 (www.astm.org);
  • For each door or window in the residence or living area that has direct access to the pool:
    • A self-latching device that is located not less then fifty-four inches above the floor; and
    • Either a screwed in wire mesh screen covering a dwelling or guest room window or a keyed lock that prevents a dwelling or guest room window from opening more then four inches; or
  • For an aboveground swimming pool, non-climbable exterior sides which are a minimum height of four feet and access ladders or steps that are removable and able to be secured when the pool is not in use.

Gate Requirements

According to A.R.S. § 36-1681(B)(3), any gate in either the five-foot-tall wall, fence, or barrier enclosing a pool or the four-foot-tall wall, fence, or barrier between the residence or other living area and a pool must:

  • Open outward from the pool
  • Be self-closing and self-latching; and
  • Have a latch:
    • Located at least fifty-four inches above the underlying ground;
    • Located on the pool side of the gate with the latch’s release mechanism located at least five inches below the top of the gate and no opening greater than one-half inch with twenty-four inches of the release mechanism; or
    • Located at any height if secured by a padlock or similar device which requires a key, electric opening, or integral combination.

Platinum Pools encourages all pool owners to remain vigilant and NEVER allow children under 6 y/o unsupervised access to swimming pools. We can also help you create a safe environment around your pool. If you have any questions, please call us (480) 888-9200 – East Valley or (623) 847-9200 – West Valley.

Please note the information provided is not legal advice. To read the full documentation on the law please visit http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/36/01681.htm&Title=36&DocType=ARS.