In The News: September 16, 2010

Solar View

photo of solar heating installationThe cold was bothering him. The water was cold, and it was keeping his kids out of the pool, which defeated its purpose. "If I'm going to have a pool," he said to himself, "I want to get the most out of it, for myself and my kids. Maybe I need a heater."

What was his first move? He didn't stop in at a pool store or dig up an old copy of the Yellow Pages. He fired up his computer.

He didn't know what type of heater he wanted; he just knew he wanted a warm pool. He read some things about solar and gas heaters and thought about it for a while.

Read more about solar heating.

Study Suggests Indoor Pool Chemicals Could Be Harmful

The LA Times ran an article Sept. 12 citing three studies published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal stating that people who regularly swim in indoor pools could be exposing themselves to health risks. According to the LA Times, the journal conducted three studies to learn more about how disinfection byproducts in indoor pools could pose a health risk by breathing them in or through skin contact.

For one study, blood, urine and exhaled air samples from 49 non-smokers were taken before and after they swam in a chlorinated indoor pool for 40 minutes. Researchers found "concentrations of four biomarkers suggested toxicity from disinfection byproducts," wrote the newspaper.

Another study measured short-term changes in respiratory biomarkers to see the potential for lung damage. Of those who swam for 40 minutes, researchers found a slightly higher level of one marker that indicates lung cell damage.

The third study looked at public pools disinfected with chlorine or bromine, and researchers found similar levels of the byproducts in each type of pool. They did, however, find more than 100 different disinfection byproducts, some of which have never been reported in pool or drinking water.

The authors of the study said that the studies are preliminary and further long-term research is necessary.

The LA Times concluded, "The research does not mean that the significant health benefits of swimming are outweighed by the potential risks from chemical byproducts."

Warmer Winterizing

When you winterize a pool you are in a sense putting it to bed for the winter. However, most pool professionals put their pools to bed and forget about them until the next spring. In today's world, it might be wiser to check on the pool before it's time to wake it up in the spring - to avoid challenging pool openings.

Read more about winterizing.

Australian SPLASH! Awards A Success

Australia's SPLASH! Environmental Awards recognize environmental achievements in the pool and spa industry, and this year, the awards honored the following companies. Gosford Olympic Pool, Environmental Project of the Year; Waterco, Environmental Product of the Year; A Total Concept, Residential Pool; Gosford Olympic Pool, Commercial Pool or Aquatic Center; Poolside Frankston, Pool Shop Award; Pentair, Energy Saving Product; Fasco, Energy Saving Product; Waterco, Water Saving Product; Davey, Mechanical Product; AIS, Sanitization Product; Waterco, Lighting Product; and Sunlover/Spa Industries, Spa Product.

SPLASH! Magazine says it hopes the awards will encourage companies to project a better environmental image throughout the industry.

2011 AQUA Choice Awards Deadline Approaching

Logo: AQUA Choice AwardsPool builders are now submitting entries for the 2011 AQUA Choice Awards, an annual competition that recognizes the most beautiful, challenging and intriguing pool projects. A panel of industry experts will judge entries, and winners will be showcased in AQUA Magazine and presented in a gallery on the AQUA Website. Entry deadline is Oct. 1. For more information go to www.aquamagazine.com or call Scott Webb 800/7228764 ext. 124.

Remember, deadline for all entries is Friday, Oct. 1!

What's Affecting Service?

State of the IndustryService industry hurdles include competition from the Internet and wholesalers, as customers try to avoid the serviceperson's markup by doing either water treatment or equipment replacement themselves. As one respondent put it, "Wal-Mart people think that I should be able to sell chemicals at the same price and provide my level of service. They just don't get it. Go to Wal-Mart and see if they can tell you how to take care of your water problems!"

Read more about consumer and employee education in our State of the Industry issue.

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