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Under proposed changes to the outdated pool-testing rules, only certified pool operators or pool testers would be allowed to do quality checks.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 Dennis Van Milligen 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 Dennis Van Milligen 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.
- Tankinis In, Tube Socks Out in D.C. Pools Dress Code
by Michael Gaio July 2013
Planning on wearing jean shorts and your favorite halter top to the pool this week? If you're in our nation's capital, you better think again.
- Aquatic Climbing Walls Becoming a Popular Pool Amenity
by Paul Steinbach July 2013
Prairie Athletic Club calls itself the largest health club in Wisconsin, and few casual observers would question that claim. After all, how many clubs in these northern climes can boast their own outdoor water park?
- Did World's Largest Swimming Lesson Break Record?
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor June 2013
The final numbers won't be in for at least a couple weeks, but organizers of the fourth annual World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ expect that Tuesday's global event attracted a world record 35,000 participants at more than 700 locations in more than a dozen countries. (In 2012, WLSL set a new world record with 24,873 participants.) The event coordinates a simultaneous half-hour session, overseen by Guinness World Records, to raise drowning awareness and the importance of basic swimming skills.
- Want to Host World's Largest Swimming Lesson? Hurry!
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor May 2013
Aquatics facility operators have less than three weeks left to register to participate in the World's Largest Swimming Lesson™. For the fourth consecutive year, the event - scheduled for 11 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, June 18 - will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson. The current record, set in 2012, stands at 24,873 participants representing 15 countries on five continents.
- Connecticut Town Settles P.E. Drowning Case for $1.5M
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor January 2013
The town of East Hartford, Conn., has agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement to the family of 15-year-old Marcum Asiamah, a physical education student who drowned in the local high school pool last year. According to The Hartford Courant, the town's insurer will pay $1 million and the town will pay a $500,000 deductible (which will reportedly be taken from the board of education's budget).
- How Step Into Swim Can Help Aquatics Facilities
by Michael Popke December 2012
During the final months of 2012, bad news for community pools hit residents like a crashing belly flop:
- Tankinis In, Tube Socks Out in D.C. Pools Dress Code
- NCAA, Athletes Reach Head Injury Lawsuit Settlement
- Allen ISD Spending Millions to Fix Unsafe $60M Stadium
- Stopping Hazing in College and High School Athletics
- Big Ten's Delany Seeks Better NCAA Enforcement
- Want to Buy the Bills? You Have Until 5 p.m. to Bid