Waterfront: August 2008

High Above

New Pool Sits on the 18th Floor

Ojj 808 Aq Prestigious living means having a few advantages, including a trendy pool that, according to AstralPool UK, is thought to be the highest one in Europe.

A new residential complex in Manchester, England, recently hired Cheshire Spas and Pools to install an AstralPool UK Skypool on the 18th story of the building. Skypool is a galvanized, steel-panel system, which was easier to manage when moving the panels up to the pool's location. Plus, it's much lighter than other pools so it won't affect the structure of the building, say officials.

The designer wanted a black pool and tile band to complement the slate floor and modern interior of the building. The pool will be part of a complete leisure suite, which includes a gym, sauna and steam room.

Come On In, The Shopping's Fine

0808 Aq Story2 AQUA did some digging and recently found this photo of Xray, a sunglasses store located on Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv, Israel. The store, designed like a swimming pool, features floor-to-ceiling multi-colored tile and a ladder that reaches all the way to the top of the store. Pretty cool to look at . . . now if only the ladder were the true entrance and exit, that would be neat!

Walk This Way

Water walking making the rounds

Ohh 708 Aq Forget hitting the pavement. Just throw on your swimsuit and jump in the pool because water walking is the next thing in aquatics.

In 1986, John Spannuth, then senior director at the Cleveland County Family YMCA in Norman, Okla., met a gentleman walking in chest-deep water. The man explained that he had severe arthritis and couldn't walk outside of the water. Inspired, Spannuth began roping off lanes in the pool for water walkers, and by the end of 1988, more than 25,000 Norman residents were walking in the water.

Today, Spannuth serves as the president of the nonprofit United States Water Fitness Association, which offers water walking instructor certification courses and heartily promotes the many benefits of the exercise.

Water walkers stay in shallow water and take a variety of forward and backward steps - long steps, step kicks, knee touches, circle steps and quick short steps - to keep the momentum going. Instructors also encourage walkers to move their arms underwater to build resistance and muscle. Whether it's for fitness or therapeutic reasons, serves as a stress reliever or social get-together, water walking can be done by virtually anyone, says Spannuth.

Participants warm up for three to five minutes and then complete the main set of the exercise, progressively intensifying the workout to their individual abilities. Afterwards, walkers cool down for a period of three to seven minutes.

Spannuth encourages pool builders to think beyond the standard pretty picture in the backyard in an effort to help promote aquatic exercise. "People build swimming pools without thinking about how they are used or how they could be used," says Spannuth. "Sell backyard fitness centers!"

The association is dedicated to raising awareness about aquatic exercise, including speaking to pool builders about building exercise-friendly residential pools.

In case you're wondering, water walkers do wear shoes. Spannuth recommends a soft-flexible shoe designed for walking in pools, on boat decks and the beach. However, some wear their everyday sneakers.

For more information, visit www.uswfa.com.

Strengthening A Community

Texas pool builder gives back

Ogg 808 Aq Pulliam Pools of Fort Worth, Texas, recently helped renovate the pool at the Texas Pythian Home in Weatherford. The center, a home for children in the area whose parents are unable to care for them, was informed during a 2007 routine health department inspection that the pool no longer met code due to changes throughout the years.

Debra Smith, Pulliam vice president and general manager, knew they needed to help because of the company's history with the home. Owner Barry Pulliam helped renovate the first Pythian pool more than 40 years ago with his dad, Doren Pulliam. So Smith made calls to subcontractors and vendors, asking for their help. In the end, the total estimated renovation costs were over $70,000.

Pulliam agreed to take on at least $35,000 of the cost, as long as Pythian could raise the other half.

The pool's renovations included having dual main drains, new skimmers and safety fencing installed to meet today's standards. Also, old layers of paint were sandblasted away and the pool was outfitted with a new slide and lifeguard stand.

"We are happy to be able to give back to the community," says Smith, "and cannot think of a better way to do so than to help these kids have something wonderful to look forward to: enjoying many more summers in the pool. We are also grateful to the rest of the community for their help in fundraising efforts."

Pulliam has also raised money for an air conditioner in the boys' dormitory, helped install plumbing in the dorm and arranged for Safe Kids of Tarrant County to fit each child at the home with a personal flotation device.

Bring In The Fishes

Idle pools find help through mosquitofish

Mosquitofish While foreclosures continue at a steady dip across the country, states like California, Arizona and Florida are relying on Gambusia affinis, commonly known as the mosquito fish, to clean up messy pools.

Pools at foreclosed homes are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes since nobody is around to properly care for them. With some local agencies worried about mosquito-borne diseases like the West Nile virus, they are taking action and deploying the fish. "They are real heroes," Josefa Cabada, a technician at the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a government agency, recently told the Wall Street Journal, referring to the mosquitofish, which can eat up to 500 larvae a day.

Default notices in the San Francisco Bay area, where Contra Costa is located, have doubled to 4,718 in the first quarter, according the WSJ. Technicians typically release 150 fish into each pool, and each fish usually gives birth to 60 fry a month, leaving the pool swarming with thousands of mosquitofish within weeks.

Once the house is sold, says the WSJ, the owners can collect and return the fish to the mosquito-control agency in their area. Some environmental services departments offer to come back to the house and collect the fish themselves.

Gambusia also played an integral role in cleaning up mosquito-infested pools during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see Waterfront, Aug. 2006), when nearly 2,000 abandoned pools were treated with the fish.

Rooftop Bathing

It pays to have a penthouse suite

Okk 808 Aq A Leeds, United Kingdom-based boutique apartment company, The Chambers, recently installed two Jacuzzi hot tubs on the seventh-floor roof of its Park Place penthouse suites.

The hot tubs were so big, a city street needed to be closed so a giant telescopic crane could hoist them to their final destination.

"It's our ethos to constantly look for ways of adding value to our luxury offering," says Christine Boothroyd, owner of The Chambers. "What better way to do that than giving our visitors the chance to take in some breathtaking views, whilst enjoying a long soak in one of our hot tubs, complete with a television screen and CD and DVD player!"

Boothroyd says the rooftop tubs are unique to the area and "ever since our regular guests first heard rumors about what was planned, we have received unprecedented inquiries for the two apartments."

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