Waterfront: July 2008

It's Better To Be Prepared

Officials recommend packing pool test kit

Yyy 708 Aq Flip-flops? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Beach towels? Check. Swimming pool test kit? Wait a minute. . .

Recent concerns about children becoming sick after swimming in an Illinois hotel pool have officials saying it might be worth everyone's while to pack a little heavier during vacation.

"We actually recommend that people go buy test kits at their local hardware store or pool supply store and test the chlorine and pH levels in the pool before they go swimming," Michele Hlavsa, epidemiologist for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Lincoln Courier.

The constant monitoring of chlorine and pH levels is imperative for a healthy pool. And while the majority of public pools go to great lengths to maintain water quality and keep things clean, accidents do happen.

"In general, hotel pools are very well kept," Dr. Nancy Khardori, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, told the Lincoln Courier. "It's not like it's unsafe to swim in those pools."

People can contract various illnesses by swallowing pool water, breathing in water vapors or having contact with contaminated water, says Hlavsa. It pays to be prepared, though. Spending a few minutes - and sparing some room in your luggage - checking the water beforehand can save a lot of headaches in the long run.

Technological Pool Heating

Computer center's server warms local swimming pools

0708 Waterfront 2 A Swiss computer center is redirecting the hot air thrown off by its servers and communications equipment and funneling it next door to warm local swimming pools. Talk about reduce, reuse, recyle!

Data centers are usually cooled by air conditioners blasting air chilly enough to keep the machines from exceeding their optimum temperature of 70 degrees. The air at the Uitikon Center - recentlybuilt by IBM Corp. for GIB-Services AG - will circulate through heat exchangers to warm water that will be pumped into the nearby pool. The town of Uitikon covered the cost of some connecting equipment and will be able to use the heat for free.

Steven Sams, a data center services vice president for IBM, told the Associated Press that the Swiss project should be a model for future endeavors. IBM says the computers at the Uitikon center will throw off enough heat to warm as many as 80 houses.

Imagine taking a dip in that pool. Sounds toasty.

An Artistic Eye

Houston area gets custom pool tile designer

Off 708 Aq In order for Tatiana Escallion Birckholtz to earn her bachelor's in graphic design from a Columbian university, she needed to complete a final thesis project - design a giant tile mural for a wave pool at a local theme park. She passed with flying colors, graduated, started a family and moved to the United States.

In 2005, after Birckholtz felt the time was right to get back into the workforce, she considered her options and always came back to the wave pool tile project.

"Considering all the pool construction in this country, and especially Houston, I realized that this would be the right place and the right time to pursue the dream I had while I was in school," she says.

So she began researching tile industry technologies and found a digital technology that allows her to place her original artwork into the tile. And so began the beginning of TEB Design and its D-Tile product line.

Birckholtz prefers porcelain tiles, which she describes as frost-resistant and waterproof, making them suitable for outdoors and swimming pools. All tiles are tested by the Tile Council of North America and are waterproof and chemical resistant, she says.

For more information, visit www.tebdesign.com.

Going Green

Creating an eco-friendly company

Ooa 708 Aq At this stage in the game, if your company hasn't taken on some eco-friendly characteristics, you might be out of the loop. But Going Green, by Amy K. Townsend, gives readers a simple model to follow to become an environmentally responsible company.

Townsend breaks down the process into five steps: greening your mission; greening your employees; greening your operations; greening your facilities and sites; and greening your products and services. Going Green explores the reasons behind greening a business and its future in a changing society.

"Companies have begun to use green business best practices, voluntarily sign onto corporate codes of conduct, and adopt goals, such as sustainable development and the triple bottom line," writes Townsend. "With a growing number of companies committing to ecological sustainability and/or other green business principles, green business is likely to continue to gain momentum and become increasingly sophisticated."

More and more pool, spa and backyard-oriented companies are incorporating ways to become better for the environment, whether through their product lines or even their business culture. What better time than now to take the necessary steps to become a more eco-conscious business?

Going Green: A Five-Part Model for Creating an Environmentally Responsible Company
By Amy K. Townsend, PhD
Schiffer Publishing | ISBN 0-7643-2503-5

The Real World Heats Up

MTV goes green in Hollywood

Eee 708 Aq You may know the tag: "This is the true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real." Twenty seasons and 16 years later, MTV's The Real World still has its hand in pop culture, taking on trends affecting its viewer demographic.

The current season, The Real World: Hollywood, is the first in the show's history to feature an environmentally friendly house, including bamboo flooring, recycled glass countertops and sustainable furniture. But anyone familiar with The Real World knows the real staple of the house is the pool. This year, the producers sought alternative methods of heating the pool and chose Lakewood, N.J.-based Aquatherm Industries to provide its Solar Industries heating collectors.

"Aquatherm's solar heater kept the pool at the [show's] house warm and was a great way to save energy on a daily basis," says Charles Aubrey, the program's production designer.

Aquatherm cwalled on Vasco Solar, Huntington Beach, Calif., a Solar Industries Silver Master Dealer, to complete the 14-collector installation.

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 healthiest 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.

Tel Aviv Shop


Original Poolshop Sarah LeviOk so the name of the store is called 'Xray'. I think it's fairly new because I googled that and found nothing, but it's on Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv. [email protected]

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