- Moving Toward a Self-Sustainable Aquatics Funding Model
by Emily Attwood May 2015
Of all the municipal recreation programs that suffered budget cuts during the Great Recession, perhaps no area has taken a bigger hit than aquatics. Public pools have never been a profitable line item in recreation budgets, bogged down by expensive initial construction costs and ongoing maintenance needs. Public pools drained their waters left and right to save on operational costs, and even with budgets rebounding, deferred maintenance has caused expenses to increase to the point where many programs have no choice but to close down indefinitely.
- Video: An Aquatic Twist on Tug of War
by Michael Gaio March 2015
We stumbled upon this video today and felt it was worth sharing with our readers. Shamelessly stealing this from the comments on the YouTube video, let's call it "Tug of Oar."
- Buffalo-Shaped Pool Draws Variety of Colorado Students
by Paul Steinbach August 2014
A small component of the University of Colorado Boulder Student Recreation Center's 300,000-square-foot renovation and expansion produced some fairly substantial debate.
- Key Considerations When Building a Splash Pad
by Paul Steinbach August 2014
They're bubbling up from Texas to Minnesota and from coast to coast as complements to traditional dry playgrounds and existing pools, as well as stand-alone aquatics amenities replacing traditional pools altogether. For many municipalities, both urban and suburban, splash pads offer a simpler, more affordable aquatics recreation alternative.
- Online Training for Your Aquatics Team
by AB Staff June 2014
Athletic Business presents a fast, easy way to introduce commercial pool management to your new and part-time employees.
AB has teamed up with the National Swimming Pool Foundation to offer the Pool Operator Primer™ online learning course. This course is an intensive 8-hour learning experience that will give your new hires the information they need to immediately contribute to your aquatics program. The interactive course makes use of the latest learning technology by incorporating engaging video demonstrations and knowledge quizzes to help participants retain the useful information.
The essential responsibilities your team will learn:
- Facility safety and recordkeeping
- Water contamination and disinfection
- Aquatic facility maintenance tips
- Water circulation and filtration
- Water chemistry concepts and calculations
- Unique responsibilities of managing hot tubs and therapy pools
The experts at the National Swimming Pool Foundation designed this self-paced curriculum. Upon completion graduates will be awarded .85 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Bonus! Receive the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Pool & Spa Operator Handbook
Register for our online course and get the most widely used resource manual in the aquatics industry. It's a great tool that is perfect for everyone at your facility. This useful manual contains all the best information, facts, checklists and references on planning, maintenance, safety, research, and much more. You’ll refer to this thick volume for years to come.
- Red Cross Launches Campaign to Cut Drowning Rate in 50 Cities
by AB Staff May 2014
Source: Red Cross
Washington DC – May 20, 2014 - The American Red Cross today launched a new national campaign to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent in 50 cities over the next three to five years.
- After 133 Closures in 2013, City Steps Up Pool Testing
by April 2014
When many people go to the local pool for a swim, they don’t think twice about the delicate chemical balance required for the water to be safe for swimmers — they assume there are people responsible for checking that — and they’d be right.
But according to the Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star, city inspectors worry those tasked with checking the pool's chlorine and pH levels may not be doing so correctly.
In 2013, Lincoln closed 133 pools after inspections revealed that the water did not meet quality standards — which may indicate that water testers are making errors during testing.
Under current regulations, lifeguards at a pool can handle pool tests with little training in the correct testing processes.
Pool water is tested by adding a chemical to a small sample of pool water and stirring the sample to turn the water pink. Then another chemical is added to return the water to its original color.
“It’s like a chemistry test,” Scott Holmes, Environmental Public Health Division manager for the local department, told the Journal Star. “You have to add the correct number of drops. You have to swirl and not shake.”
Under proposed changes to the outdated pool-testing rules, only certified pool operators or pool testers would be allowed to do quality checks. In order to become certified, candidates would be required to take a short class and be tested to make sure they know how to test the water. The certification class would cost $20 dollars and would make a tester certified for two years.
Testing water correctly plays a large role in helping maintain healthy pool users. When the water has the right pH and chlorine balance, it can reduce the transfer of certain types of diseases and infections.
In 2001, Lincoln suffered an outbreak of cryptosporidium, a diarrheal illness, after it is estimated that it originally spread through public swimming pools. At its peak, there were more than 133 cases of cryptosporidium that had been acquired through public swimming pools.
- $1.7M Settlement Reached in P.E. Class Drowning
by Nick Daniels February 2014
More than one year after the tragic drowning of a high school student in Manchester, Conn., the Hartford Courant reported Sunday that a $1.7 million settlement had been reached between Malvrick Donkor’s family and the town of Manchester.
Donkor — a beginning swimmer — had been participating in a high school swimming class Nov. 21, 2012 when he left the shallow end of the pool for the deep end. Although other students had been swimming in the pool at the same time, no one noticed Donkor's absence until the end of class, by which time it was too late for the 14-year-old to be revived.
Despite a police investigation into the drowning after the incident, the police decided that there was no reason for a criminal prosecution. Donkor's family went on to file intent to sue for wrongful death and damages, alleging that school administrators failed."to protect, care, supervise, rescue and/or provide timely medical care."
“The settlement was in the best interests of the town and (Malvrick’s) estate,” Town Attorney Ryan Barry told the Courant. “We wish the family well.”
The drowning was the second by a Connecticut high school student in 2012, which has sparked a statewide effort to improve pool safety measures in high schools.
- Diving Into the World Aquatics Health Conference
by October 2013
Debbie couldn't believe she was in the same position again. Four years ago, her daughter missed making the U.S. Olympic swim team. It had been agonizing then as her daughter, who was favored to make the team, struggled through her swim. Even her children, including her 11-year-old son, were in shock. After the race, it was discovered Debbie's daughter had swam through herniated discs and stress fractures in her back.
- Increasing Pool Revenue Through New Programming
by September 2013Over the summer, most municipal recreation facility operators allocate the majority of their pool space to two activities: swim lessons and open swim. Mickey Boyle, aquatics supervisor with the Geneva (Ill.) Park District, is no different. In 2013, he had to accommodate 770 families that participated in Geneva's swim lessons program. His flexibility to implement new programs is hindered, as virtually all of the 18,000 square feet of water surface is occupied for swim lessons and open swim starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
- Can Underwater Surveillance Help Prevent Drownings?
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