Recreational Water Illnesses in Public Pools

Information in this post pertaining to the study done by NACCHO and Accu-Tab Chlorination System was obtained at  The information regarding RWI’s was obtained at

In the past few months I have written several posts pertaining to why a vinyl liner in ground swimming pool is best, and what should be considered when thinking about purchasing an in ground swimming pool.  Today I am going to approach it from a different angle to give my argument more validity through another perspective.

A lot of families will take their kids to public pools or water parks throughout the summer.  I have discussed this in another post and written about how having a pool of your own instead of making trips to the public pool will save you time, money and the headache of loading up the kids and driving across town to a crowded public pool.  That is basically where I left it.  I felt that was enough information to get people to consider getting their own pools.  However there is another thing I think you should know about public swimming pools.  What I am about to tell you may help you make the decision to get your own pool.  What I really want you to take away from this is to at least consider not going to the public pool for health reasons.

This post pertains to RWI’s, otherwise know as Recreational Water Illnesses.  These can be the result of not properly maintaining the chemical levels in a pool.  A recent study by Accu-Tab Chlorination System and the National Association of City and County Health Officials or (NACCHO) revealed how Many public pools are out of compliance in regard to their chemical levels in their pools.  NACCHO represents 2800 health departments across the country.  They polled their inspectors on their protocols and experiences in examining recreational water facilities.  The results were very interesting to say the least.

-75% reported a commercial pool that was shut down by their agency within the last two years.

Reasons why these pools were shut down.

-90% said that it was due to low sanitation levels.

-61% said that it was due to the pH being unbalanced.

-53% said that it was a result of cloudy water.

The study also revealed that apartment complexes are one of the biggest offenders.  54% of those inspectors reported that two out of three apartment complex inspections revealed violations.

I know that in my town we used to have a water park that my friends and I would go to when we were younger and it was shut down as well.  You have to think about the amount of traffic that these places see everyday, especially if it is a particularly hot summer day.  Imagine the amount of children in the pool that don’t want to take the time to walk to the restroom fearing that they might miss something fun while they are gone.  Think about the personal hygiene of others that may frequent the same pool as you.  There are no guarantees that everyone in the pool had showered prior to entering the pool, and there are no guarantees that the children or even some of the adults in the pool have enough respect for others to actually get out of the pool to take a restroom break.  These are things that contribute to the problem with RWI’s.  Now you might be curious as to what RWI’s are exactly right? Well this next tidbit comes out of a previous post of mine titled  “Swimming Pool Safety – Recreational Water Illnesses”.

What are R.W.I’s?

Basically, these are illnesses caused by germs and chemicals that are found in the water we swim in.  Some might say that the water they swim in is perfectly safe, because they treat it properly and keep it well maintained.  The number one chemical used to keep swimming pools clean is chlorine.  However, there are some germs present today that are very chlorine tolerant.  In fact, it may take anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple days to kill them.  This is more true if the chlorine levels in a pool are off.  Basically, if there is not enough chlorine to go around then some of these germs may remain.  Obviously germs are small, and it would only take a small amount to make you sick.

How are R.W.I’s spread?
R.W.I.’s are spread by swallowing contaminated water, breathing in the mist from a fountain or other water fixture, or by simply coming into contact with water that is contaminated by these germs.  They are not just found in private swimming pools either.  They can be present in public pools, water parks, water play areas (splash parks),  fountains, rivers, lakes, streams, and even the ocean.  In addition to all that, they can also be caused by chemicals in the water or from chemical evaporation if your pool is indoors.

What kind of problems do they cause?
They can produce a variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, eye, ear, respiratory, neurological, and wound infections.  However diarrhea is the most commonly reported problem.  Cryptosporidium  has become the number one cause of pool related diarrheal illness.  “Crypto” has the ability to stay alive for days on end, even in a well maintained pool.  That is not to say that keeping a well maintained pool is futile.  Although “Crypto” is chlorine tolerant, most germs are not.  So keeping a well maintained pool is the first step toward fighting R.W.I.’s.

How does Cryptosoridium get into the pool?

That is a very good question, unfortunately the answer is not what you want to hear.  Cryptosoridium and other germs enter your pool through feces.  I’m not saying that someone has defecated in the pool, however on average people have about .14 grams of feces on their under carriage. When they get into the pool some of that is rinsed off and enters the pool.  If someone in the pool is already ill with diarrhea their feces can contain millions of germs.  That means that it could only take one person to effectively contaminate and entire pool.  If you have a pool, or even if you just like to swim, then you have probably experienced the almost inevitable instance when you accidentally swallow a mouthful of water.  Even a small amount of contaminated water can make you sick.

What about other R.W.I. germs, how do they get into the water?
A lot of the other R.W.I.’s, such as skin, eye, ear, respiratory, and wound infections, are caused by germs that naturally live in environments, like dirt and water.  If proper disinfectant levels are not maintained in the pool, then these germs can multiply and have the potential to cause illness.  This is why it is important to keep your pool well maintained with the proper amount of chlorine.

So if you are planning a trip to the public pool or splash park please be aware of the risks.  If you have been on the fence about getting an in ground swimming pool of your own I hope this posts gives you the incentive to go for it.  Please keep in mind that at a public pool you are not in control of how the water there is maintained.  At your own pool you will be the one to ensure your family’s safety by keeping the water clean and safe.

For more information regarding the study done by NACCHO and Accu-Tab Chlorination System and RWI’s please visit the links at the top of this page.

Pool Safety – Electricity

Information in this blog post was found at

Today I am going to gear this post toward pool safety. Not in the sense that you are probably think but rather I want to touch on the risk of electric shock in swimming pools. Since 1990 there have been over 60 deaths by electrocution and over 50 serious electricity related injuries due to faulty wiring in and around swimming pools. You might be thinking why would anyone have electrical lines around their pool area. You must understand that the majority of swimming pools have underwater lights. These lights can go bad in a couple different ways and result in stray electricity entering your pool water. In addition to lights many residential pools these days have automatic covers installed on them. This is another example of why there would be electricity near the pool. These covers need power to operate. Another possibility is that a homeowner may have power outlets around the pool for various reasons. Regardless of why there is power around the pool there should be no reason why people should be receiving electric shocks while swimming in their pool. A swimming pool is meant to be a happy place where people can relax and enjoy a hot summer day. It shouldn’t be a place where people are at risk of injury. Older pools are at greater risk of having an incident. The lights used in older pools were likely to have a full 120V going to them. Today many manufacturers are changing their light to a low voltage to prevent this type of thing from happening. What is likely happening is that the lights are failing and in some case water can get inside the light. Obviously this is a huge concern, especially if that light had 120V going to it. There could be other possibilities as well. If there is lighting around the pool then you will want to make sure that it is properly wired and grounded. Overhead wires can pose a threat as well. In some cases people have gotten shocked while cleaning their pools. When you are using a 16′ aluminum pole with a net or vacuum on the end of it you will want to be aware of where you are in relation to any overhead wires. The aluminum pole is a very good conductor of electricity and if it even lightly touches an overhead wire you could receive a shock. So how else can you take precautions agains electric shock in your swimming pool? Below is a list of things that you could do to help prevent and incident.

Electrical Cords:
1. Do not use and electrical cord that is damaged or repaired with tape.
2. Keep electrical cords, wires, and products out of reach and at least five feet away from the water.
3. Use portable GFI’s where permanently installed GFCI-protected outlets are not available. (These are the type of outlet that commonly has test and reset buttons on them. if there is a electrical surge they will pop and disrupt the current before it can do any damage.)
4. If an electrical product falls into the water, unplug it before retrieving it. Even submersible pumps which are design to operate under water may not be safe to use while someone is in the water.

Overhead Power lines:

1. Do not set up a storable pool or install a permanent pool within 25 feet of overhead power lines
2. While cleaning your pool keep long handled tools and poles away from overhead power lines including the ones going to your house.
3. hold long handled tools as low to the ground as possible.

Underwater Lights:
1. Signs of mold or other growth on the inside of the lens are signs of water leakage.
2. Have an electrician inspect the underwater lights and make sure that junction boxes and wiring connections are installed correctly.
3. Be sure that the power switch and GFCI for underwater lights are properly marked and easy to get to in case of an emergency.

1. Know where all the electrical switches and circuit breakers are for the pool equipment, and light, and make sure you know how to shut them off in case of an emergency.
2. Know where all emergency equipment is located and how to use it.
3. Learn CPR and rescue breathing procedures.
4. Use battery operated products around the pool whenever possible – never set a plugged in radio near the pool.

For more information regarding swimming pool safety please visit or check out my other blog posts with safety in the title.

Auto Cover – Things to look for

Today I am going to use this opportunity to give you the pool owner a heads up when it comes to automatic covers.  There are several different manufacturers of automatic covers and they all have something in common.  Each company is striving to better your swimming pool experience.  They make all of the components that go into an automatic pool cover.  Some even make coping that goes around the pool.  The interesting thing about the coping around the pool is that not all types of coping will work well with all types of automatic covers.

Brief Auto Cover Explanation:

Top Track

When it comes to automatic covers there are a couple different styles you can choose from.  They are what is known as under track, and top track.  The difference is the way that the tracks of the cover are mounted.  Let me clarify what I mean by “track”.  An automatic cover consists of several different components that work together to make the cover work.  Basically you have the cover, ropes, pulleys, track, motor, and drum.  There are several other parts and pieces that go into them but for my purposes today what I have listed will suffice.  The tracks will stretch the entire length of the pool and houses the ropes for the cover.  The ropes are attached to the cover and run through the tracks to from one end to the other, around a pulley and then back again.  From there they are attached to the motor.  When you turn the key, flip the switch or enter the code, (depending on the model) the motor winds up the ropes causing the cover to pull out over the pool.  Then when you open the pool again the motor turns the other way causing the drum to rotate which winds the cover itself up onto the drum.  Now depending on the style of cover you have you will either have the tracks installed underneath the coping of the pool in a special opening specifically made for the track, or you will have the tracks exposed on the top of the deck.

The Problem:

Both types of covers work well but there is one main thing that you will want to watch for.  You must understand that a top track cover will rub on the coping of the pool.  This is normal, that is just the way that they are designed.  To ensure that nothing gets damaged as far as the cover itself or the coping, the manufacturers also make a specialized coping specifically for top track covers.  This type of coping is made to prevent any damage from occurring.  Now you may be wondering what type of damage I am referring to.  Typically you might find that due to the constant rubbing of the cover on the coping your cover itself may wear out prematurely, or depending on the type of coping used you may see the paint on the coping rubbing off.  Some builders will pour the deck so that the coping itself is concrete because they know that the cover will rub.  This type of situation is unfortunate but is also not all that uncommon.  Some builders are either unaware of this issue or they just don’t care.

The bad part is that unless something is done to prevent this rubbing from occurring, the problem will continue to happen.  There have been instances where people have repainted their coping only to have it rub off shortly thereafter.  There have been instances where they have repainted the coping multiple times using multiple types of paint only to have the issue persist.

How did this happen?

Let me advise you that unless something is done to prevent the cover from rubbing the coping the problem will always be there.  You can repaint the coping as many times as you want using a thousand different paints but I assure you that the paint will inevitably wear off.

So if this happens you will want to know who is at fault.  You might think that the manufacturer of the coping is using the wrong type of paint and you might try to contact them to make the repair.  This is not the case.  If the coping on the pool is a painted aluminum coping then you have the wrong type of coping on the pool to accommodate a top track auto cover.  That type of coping is not made to have something constantly dragging across it.  Think of it this way.  If you take your brand new car to an automated carwash only to find that the bristles or something have cause scratches on the roof of the car, you wouldn’t go home and contact the manufacturer of the car and tell them that they didn’t put the paint on well enough.  It’s the same type of situation.  So now you might think that you need to contact the auto cover manufacturer and let them know that their cover is damaging the coping.  That is a good idea, unfortunately they are going to ask what type of coping is on the pool.  When they find out that it is a painted aluminum they are going to tell you that they never recommend using that type of coping.  They might also tell you that they manufacture a type of coping specifically for a top track cover so that this does not happen.  At this point you are probably getting irritated so you call the builder.  Ah yes the builder, the one who went against the cover manufacturers recommendations and put that type of painted aluminum coping on the pool with a top track auto cover.  Now you finally have the one responsible.  Now you have to think back to when you met with the builder way back when you first started planning your pool.  Did you decide on that type of coping?  Did the builder inform you of the problem associated with that type of coping and a top track cover?  Did they themselves recommend that coping?  How are they going to fix it?  How much will the repair cost?  Who will pay for it?

The solution:

These are all very good questions, but regardless of the answers you still have this coping that has paint issues.  I know that this is a stressful situation and I am sure that you will want it taken care of as soon as possible.  So of course you will want the coping repainted.  That will look good for a little while but eventually its going to need more paint, and then more paint.  Are they going to repaint it every couple weeks?  Not likely.  You will need to have something in place to keep the cover from rubbing on the coping.  Unfortunately most auto cover manufacturers do not make any type of wear strip.  You might be told to try using a blower under the cover.  This might work a little but I fear that from time to time you would get some rubbing on the coping.  Another option is to bust up the concrete remove the coping and replace it with the proper type, however this would be expensive.  You really need some type of barrier between the coping and the cover.  My recommendation is to have the builder get in touch with their pool manufacturer.  There are plastic strips that pool manufacturers use on their fiberglass steps that secure the liner around the step.  This plastic is available in a few different colors and could be used as a wear strip.  It is thick enough to protect the coping from the cover and it comes with a beauty piece that would be installed to hide the screws.  All you would see is the plastic strip itself and no screws.  The other benefit of this material is that it is manufactured for use in swimming pools so it would not look out of place acting as a wear strip.  Once you have that in place on the top of the coping you could touch up whatever areas need it and you will find that the cover would no longer rub on the coping wearing the paint down.  This is an unfortunate occurrence and sadly is not uncommon.

Think Ahead:

I am posting this simply to help you the homeowner from having to deal with the stress of having this issue on a brand new pool.  If you are thinking about getting a swimming pool with an automatic pool cover, be sure to talk to your builder about this type of situation.  Be aware of what is going on with your pool during the build process and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  After all this is your pool, your property, and your hard earned dollars going into it.  If you see something that looks questionable say something about it.  At the very least you will understand what is going on, and it could be something that the builder has over looked and potentially save you from a huge headache later and a lot of money to repair.  If you catch it during the build process it is likely that is can be changed or fixed with no additional cost.

I have many other blog posts related to a lot of different swimming pool issues and concerns.  Please take the time to check them out.  There is a lot of good information and you have the ability to ask me anything pertaining to them.  Please feel free to ask questions, make comments, or give me your thought on various topics.

Building an Inground Swimming Pool

A vinyl liner inground swimming pool is made up of components that get assemble together to make the finished pool.  This is coupled with a lot of hard work done by the builders.  However before the builders even see the components of the pool these components must first be made by the manufacturer.  In this post I will walk you through step by step on how the finished pool comes into existence.


To begin you must be aware that the walls of the pool is made up of several different panels that get bolted together creating the form of the pool.  These panels are made of two general types of material they are steel and a “non-corrosive material.”  The non-corrosive materials differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.  They can be a fiberglass material, a structural foam material, or a composite material.  and each manufacturer makes them differently from one another.  The reason that there are several different types of non-corrosive materials is because there are different levels of quality associated with each.  I am not going to get into the differences in this particular post but to learn more about these material please take a look at a previous post of mine titled Only Alpha Pool Products – Technological Advancements.  Just so you are aware, Only Alpha Pool Products has made some huge leaps forward in the manufacturing process of vinyl liner inground pool building materials, and hold several patents. A few of my posts touch on them in detail.  Another difference is in the steel manufacturing, Only Alpha has high tech machinery that is used to cut and bend the steel into the shape of the panel.  This ensures that each panel is identical to the previous one.  For more information check out Only Alpha’s website at  from there you can look at how both there steel panels and composite panels are made and discover the difference.  Only Alpha manufactures every component of the pool from the walls to the support braces.  Check out this video on how the steel panels are made Steel panel manufacturing.


Once all the components are made they are ready to be shipped to the builder.  Before this happens the builder needs to make the sale.  This process takes place between the builder and their customer.  In this meeting the customer will tell the builder what they want in their pool as far as how big, the shape, the depth, and any extra features they may want.  From their the builder will create a basic sketch of the pool and come up with an estimate for the customer.  Once everything has been approved the builder will submit everything to the manufacturer and they will come up with a detailed prints of the pool.  These prints will show the builder what goes where and give them the dimensions they will need to build the pool.  Sometimes this process goes back and forth between the builder and the manufacturer for fine tuning of the prints.  Once the manufacturer get the approval of the builder they will then get everything ready for the pool and ship it to the builder.

The Build:

When the builder receives the shipment from the manufacturer he will go through everything and make sure it is all there.  Then they will start digging the hole to the specifications provided by the manufacturer based on the preferences of the customer and builder.  At this point the customer may notice that the hole appears to be much larger than they had expected.  This is because the hole is larger than the end result.  This is so the builder can install all the braces, electrical, and plumbing around the pool.  This part of the process may differ from builder to builder, but typically once the hole is dug they will start assembling the panels creating the walls of the pool.  One of the prints provided by the manufacturer will show the builder where each panel goes in the pool.  For the most part this is pretty set in stone.  Especially if it is a free form pool. (one with a lot of curves) If the builder were to put a panel in the wrong spot then it could throw off the rest of the build and at the end they may find that the panels don’t fit to complete the form of the pool.  So you can see how important it is to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.  Once all the panels are in place you will be able to see the shape of the pool.

From there the builder will decide if the pool is properly in place, and if the pool is rectangular they will make sure that it is perfectly square.  After that they will secure the pool in place by staking it to the ground.  At this point they will install all of the plumbing lines to each appropriate fitting.  Typically you will have one line for the main drains, one for each skimmer, one for each return that may be on the pool, and one for any water feature that may be going in the pool.  From there the builder will install all the bracing around the pool pour a concrete collar or footer to permanently secure the pool into place.  This will likely be the end of day one of the build.  The following day will consist of running the conduit for the electrical components, Lights, outlets, auto cover, etc. and backfill the pool.  More often than not they will completely backfill the pool with stone to prevent settling.  From time to time you might see the builders backfill with dirt.  That is okay to some degree provided they have deck supports around the pool.  You have to realize that if the deck is poured without deck braces installed and the ground around the pool settles you will have a big problem.  The deck supports will hold up the concrete deck even if the ground below settles.  I think that it is more common to backfill with stone to prevent any settling form happening.  Depending on the extensiveness of the pool this may be the end of day two.  It does not sound like a lot but this part could take them all day.  Especially if they have to install the auto cover box.  The next day they will likely prepare the area around the pool for the concrete deck to be poured.  This is again something that differs from builder to builder.  I always poured the walks around the pool before doing the bottom and installing the liner.  It just made more sense to me to do it this way to prevent any wet concrete from getting into the pool or on the liner.  However some builders will do the bottom of the pool and install the liner before they pour the sidewalks around it.  I am not saying that one way is right and one is wrong.  Just that there are differences in the building process.

So lets stick to pouring the concrete walks around the pool before doing the bottom since that is what I am accustomed to.  Before they get to this point they will have the pool backfilled to where it needs to be and have the coping on the pool.  Now they are ready to form the concrete deck around the pool.  Again this is something that is usually predetermined by the homeowner and builder ahead of time, but I have been a part of forming the walks with the homeowner right there telling me how they want the walks to look.  That is not my favorite way of doing things.  In fact it is reminiscent of hanging a picture and having someone say “now a little to the left, bring it down a touch, take it to the right a smidge”, you get my point.  Anyway once the forms are in place they will bring in some rebar and lay it down in a grid type pattern cutting each piece to the appropriate length within the forms.  Most of the time they will also tie the rebar all together as they lay it in. Or have someone come behind the and do it.  You will also see them going around the forms making sure that they are all appropriately leveled.  The rule of thumb is that for every foot away from the waters edge the sidewalk will fall 1/8th of an inch.  So if the edge of the sidewalk in a particular area is 4 ft. from the waters edge is will also be 1/2 inch lower that the coping.  This next thing is something that I want to stress to anyone getting a pool.  Make sure that the builder does something to protect the coping before pouring the sidewalks.  I usually tape off the coping to prevent the concrete from getting on it.  More importantly it will protect the paint on the coping from the sealer they use on the concrete.  If that sealer gets onto the coping it can damage it.  The builder may or may not get to actually pouring the concrete around the pool the same day that they form it.  Either way once it is poured the will generally give it a day to cure.  Once it is cured they will come back and saw the concrete up into sections in an effort to control where it will crack.

After that they will clean everything with a pressure sprayer and prepare the bottom.  The final bottom will be either a mix of sand and cement or it will be a product called vermiculite.  Either way the process is essentially the same.  They will mix it with water and dump it into the pool a wheel barrow at a time.  Once it is in the pool a builder will move it around usually starting at the shallow end and working toward the deep end.  They will make a layer about two inches thick over the entire bottom of the pool.  As this is going on another builder will be raking the mix around making sure that the layer is even.  Once a section of the bottom is adequately raked out the builder will trowel it out making it incredible flat and smooth.  This process will continue throughout the pool until they have troweled every last inch of the pool.  At this point they will be ready for the liner.  The will install the liner into the pool being careful not to scuff the freshly troweled bottom.  When they get the liner in they will make sure that it is properly oriented in the pool.  Once it meets their satisfaction they will place one or two vacuums behind the liner and remove the air.  This will cause the liner to suck back into every nook and cranny.  Now they are ready to cut in all the returns, skimmers, and main drains and start filling the pool.  From there they will likely plumb in all the equipment (pump, filter, and heater) and do the final grade around the pool.

Sit back and Enjoy:

The pool is finished.  If there is an auto cover on the pool they will be able to install it once the pool is full.  However you are ready to swim, throw a party, have a cook out and simply enjoy the pool.

For more information please check out my other blog posts pertaining to vinyl liner inground swimming pools.

Swimming Pool History 101

I have worked in the pool industry for some time now and I have always wondered where the idea of swimming pools came from.  I guess in my head I figured that the idea of the swimming pool as we know it today originated not all that long ago.  After doing some research I found that I was completely wrong.  For those of you who might have wondered this same thing my post for today will be dedicated to the origins of the modern swimming pool.
The oldest swimming pool discovered is approximately 5,000 years old and is located in the Pakistani city of Mohenjo-daro and is referred to as “The Great Bath”.  It was built to be water tight by perfectly stacking bricks with gypsum plaster and coating the walls and floor with a natural tar like substance.  This particular pool was 12m X 7m and approximately 2.4 m deep.  Scholars believe that this pool was likely used specifically for religious functions where the water was used to purify and renew the well being of its bathers.
Some of the pools that stand out most in history are those of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  I think that the reason for this is due to the fact that at this time the standard of living increased along with individual wealth.  This lead to the rise of the luxurious pools.  Like the inground pools of today these ancient swimming pools added a more aesthetic value to the property.  In addition to that they also served the same purposes that pools before them did.  They were used for religious ceremonies as well as bathing, socializing, and their militaries would utilize them for training purposes of their troops.  As time went on and individuals got wealthier private pools began to be built.  In fact one of Agustus Caesar’s top political advisors designed and ordered the first Jacuzzi style custom pool in 8 B.C.
Then in A.D. 305 the Romans built an immaculate swimming pool that was 900,000 ft2.  This pool was used for bathing and was actually heated.  They heated the pool by having several large fires in the basement area beneath the pool.  Then the heat from the fire would radiate through columns, pillars, and the floor of the pool to heat the water.  Given the history of the Romans for having extravagant marble and sculptures it is likely that this pool was also adorned with some of these things making it quite a site I’m sure.
Jumping ahead several hundred years, the first time anyone did any competitive swimming was in the early 1800’s in Britain by the National Swimming Society.
One of the first U.S. inground swimming pools happens to be the oldest pool in Texas.  It is located in Austin and originated as a swimming hole in the Colorado river.  This pool is referred to as the “Deep Eddy Pool”.  It was an area along the Colorado river in which cold springs rose from the river banks and people would swim in an area where a large boulder formed an eddy.  Then in 1915 a man named A.J. Eilers bought the land surrounding the swimming hole and built the concrete pool.  In the 1920’s this area became a resort and today it is still a popular swimming pool and operating by the city of Austin.
Now we all know that many cruise ships today have swimming pools on board.  So that begs the question, where did that idea come from?  The first pool to cross the Atlantic was installed on the Adriatic cruise ship from White Star Lines.  As a matter of fact the Adriatic’s sister ship also had this luxury on board, unfortunately that particular pool probably did not get much use as that ship went down on its maiden voyage.  We remember it as the Titanic.
Inground swimming pools did not become “mainstream” in America until after WWII, and with the coming of Hollywood movies and movie stars they also became a status symbol.  I believe that for the most part they still are today, however they are becoming more and more attainable for everyday people and not so much reserved for the likes of Hollywood stars and the upper class.
Today there are swimming pools located in just about every country of the world including some of the smallest.  New Zealand boasts that there are 200,000 swimming pools in the country of about 4 million people which make it the leader in pools per capita.
This is just a brief snippet of the history of the swimming pool.  Form more information on this topic please visit  There you can see more detailed information regarding the history of swimming pools but before you go check out the timeline below showing swimming pool history.  You will also find this timeline at but its right here right now so take a gander.
  •  2500 BC: Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting swimming.
  • 36 BC: Japanese historic records describe swimming competitions.
  • 78 AD: Romans introduced swimming as a social event to Britain.
  • 1400s: The Catholic Church objects to naked bathing on moral grounds.
  • 1800s: Acrobatic diving is developed in Germany and Sweden.
  • 1830s: Swimming clubs are established in England.
  • 1844: The Breaststroke loses popularity after Britain is introduced to the Native American “Crawl.”
  • 1862: The First documented indoor swimming pool is built in England.
  • 1885: The first diving competition is held in Germany. Briton Matthew Webb is the first documented person to swim the English Channel.
  • 1900: The Paris Olympics feature an obstacle swimming event in the Seine River.
  • 1907: The White star line installs a swimming pool on its ocean liner, The Adriatic.
  • 1908: The international governing body of swimming, FINA (Federation Internationale de Nataion de Amateur), is founded.
  • 1912: Women’s swimming events are added to Olympic Games in Stockholm.
  • 1924: Johnny Weissmuller sets 67 world swimming records before becoming a Hollywood movie star.
  • 1943: Two-piece swimsuits are introduced after wartime shortages prompt a 10% reduction in the amount of fabric used to create swimsuits.
  • 1972: Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals in the Summer Olympics.
  • 2008: American Michael Phelps becomes the world’s most decorated Olympic swimming with a career total of 14 gold medals.
  • Today: The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates there are more than 10 million swimming pools across the USA, including more than 360,000 public pools that are open year round.

How to get the most out of your vinyl liner in ground swimming pool.

Nothing says class like a beautiful vinyl liner in ground swimming pool in your backyard.  It is a symbol of social standing and not to mention the object of attention from all of your neighbors.  There are a few ways in which your in ground pool can look and depending on what you are willing to spend on it you can achieve a very elegant resort style pool.

The possibilities go on and on.  You can get a basic pool or with a plain white rectangular concrete deck or you can step it up a notch and get a free form pool with elegant curves and a stamped boarder that compliments the rest of the concrete deck.  Really it comes down to what you want in the design of your pool.  The basic rectangle is still nice and certainly serves its purpose but in my opinion they usually lack that certain flare that other styles of pools have.  There are quite a few things that can be done to bring out that aw factor in a pool.

There is the infinity edge that can create the illusion that the pool goes on and on.  If you have an ocean or lake view then the infinity edge can make the pool look as if it is a part of the ocean.  There are also water features such as water falls, deck jets, sheer descents and so on.  These are all things that can add that extra level of aw to your pool.  Another thing that I feel is important to the overall look of the pool is the liner itself.

There are many different patterns available to choose from and with the right one your pool can look phenomenal.  I find that the best looking pools utilize the colors on the liner in their concrete decking.  Most often the concrete is stamped rather than brushed and color can be added to the concrete which gives it a really awesome look.  I also really like the look of a stamped boarder around the perimeter of the pool in a darker color than the rest of the concrete.  This will give some contrast to the overall look of the pool which most people find very aesthetically appealing.  I would caution anyone from getting a solid color liner, unless it is black or a dark grey.  For some reason those two colors seem to look okay, but a solid light blue color for a liner is in my opinion not a very good look.  I have only seen one in my years of pool work but it definitely made an impression that will last a very long time.  I understand that when looking at a small sample it doesn’t look too bad but believe me when the entire interior of the pool is covered in it then you will see that it doesn’t look quite as good.

Lets go back to the concrete for a minute.  Regardless of which style you go with, brushed or stamped, the concrete will have to get sawed up.  This means that someone will come out with a concrete saw and strategically place saw cuts throughout the concrete in an effort to control where it will crack.  You must understand that concrete will almost inevitable crack.  Rather that having a long jagged crack going across the deck the builder will put in the saw cuts so that when it does crack the crack will be in the saw cut and remain hidden.  However this does not always work the way that it is supposed to.  I have seen concrete decks with saw cuts crack elsewhere.  I know that once you see the look of the stamped concrete right after they pour it you will not want to see it sawed up.  Please realize thought that it is for the best.  The concrete can be poured in any shape around the pool.  Typically folks with rectangular pools and white concrete will go with a basic rectangular deck around the pool.  Keep in mind that this is not your only option.  You can get the stamped concrete in whatever color, and form it in any shape around the pool.  This can look really nice but be careful not to add too many curves otherwise you may not like the look of the straight lines of the pool with a lot of curving deck around it.  Most times people will curve the corners and just have it flow in and out toward and away from the pool while maintaining the rectangular look.  On the other hand with a free form pool that already has a lot of curves to it, you could compliment those curves by adding a deck with similar curves.  It is all up to you.  I would suggest researching pools online and find out what you like.  There are many images of finished pools available to reference.

So far I have gone over the liner, concrete, and water features.  Now I want to briefly touch on the different things that can be done as far as automation.  You can have you pool basically run itself.  There are some products available that will allow you to make significant changes to your pool at the touch of the button.  You can adjust the water temperature, or the chlorine level without having to leave the pool area.  There are products that will allow you to operate your pool similarly to the way you operate you air conditioning system in your home.  This option is something that will take your neighbors from the point of envy to the point of drooling.

I know that many people live by the old adage “KISS” or keep it simple stupid.  This basically means that the more you have going on with something the more like it is for something to fail.  For the most part this is true, but with the proper installation and maintenance any of the things I wrote about today will work just fine.  As with anything when it first comes out there will be a few bugs, but rest assured these items have been fine tuned over time to ensure their reliability.

Equipment I Will Need for My Vinyl Liner In Ground Pool

Thinking about getting an in ground swimming pool?  Then I will first recommend that you get a vinyl liner in ground pool.  There are other types of in ground pools that you can get but in my opinion the vinyl liner in ground pool is the best bang for your buck.  I am not going to get into the reasons that I feel this way at this point but if you would like more information on why I personally feel this way please check out my blog post titled “Why My Vinyl Liner In Ground Swimming Pool is Better Than Other Types of In Ground Pools” or “Types of Swimming Pools and Which is the Best”.  These two posts go into detail about the different types of swimming pools and the pros and cons related to each.  The reason for this post today is to let you know what type of equipment you will need on your swimming pool.


Heat Pump

To start we need to identify your expectations of your swimming pool.  Are you the type of person that does not like to add additional chores to your list?  Are you like me and find that doing certain light chores is more relaxing?  The reason we need to ask ourselves these questions is to figure out how much you want to do as far as maintaining the pool.  Also if your pool is in an area that gets a lot of sun you may decide that you don’t want a heater or heat pump on the pool.  In my opinion though if you are spending the money to have a pool installed then you may want to go ahead and get the heat pump or heater anyway just in case.  It is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.  So this brings me to my next point.  Heater or heat pump?  The difference is that a heater uses natural gas or propane to heat the water and the heat pump uses the air temperature outside to heat the water.  There are some drawbacks and benefits to each one.  For instance a heater has the ability to heat the water quickly and in lower temperatures.  The downside is that the heater costs more to operate each month.  A heat pump is electric and does not require a gas line to be ran so the initial install will be a bit cheaper for you.  Also running the heat pump costs significantly less than a heater.  The downside of this is that a heat pump will not heat the water in lower temperatures and it generally takes longer to heat the water.  However once the water is up to the desired temperature the heat pump will kick on and off to maintain that temperature.  For more information on heat pumps and heaters please check out my blog  titled “Gas Heater V.S. Heat Pump.

Once you get that figured out you will have to decide on if you want an automatic pool cover installed.  For this decision you may want to check your local codes that regulated swimming pools in your area.  For instance here in indiana it is state law to have either a auto cover or fence around your pool.  That may be the case in other states as well or there may be a variation of that law.  Ideally if you have the means, it is a good idea to have both.  A fence is a good safety measure to keep unwanted guests out of your pool or neighborhood kids.  The automatic pool cover will do the same thing and in addition to that will help keep the cost of heating the pool and chemical cost down as well.  I am big on safety and I feel that having two or more barriers to get past is safer than just one.  many auto covers require a code or key to operate and a fence will help prevent children from gaining access to your pool area.  For more information on swimming pool safety please check out my blog posts with “Safety” in the title or visit which is a government website dedicated to keeping pool users safe.

Now you will have to decide on how much time you want to spend on maintaining the pool.  In recent years some pretty dramatic steps have been taken to lessen the amount pool owners will have to spend on maintaining their pools.  I have gone into great detail about this subject in several of my blog posts.  However just to recap, Paramount Pool Products have a number of products that will keep the cost and time of maintaining a pool down considerably.  Their Swing Sweep system is a wonderful in floor cleaning system that will literally clean debris out of the pool for you.  In addition to that it promotes better circulation of both water and chemicals.  That alone will help keep the cost of heating the pool down.

If that is not something you are interested in then you might be thinking about an cleaning robot of some sort.  If this is the case I would most definitely recommend Jandy’s Polaris 9550 Sport.  This product comes with pre programed cleaning patterns as well as the ability to control it with a handheld motion sensing remote much like that of a certain video game system.  This is something that could turn a chore into a fun activity for the kids.


There are also a few other products by Paramount that I would recommend in addition to the Swing Sweep system.  Their Clear O3 and Ultra UV can be used in combination to dramatically reduce the cost of pool chemicals for you the pool owner.  If you were to use these items in conjunction with the Swing Sweep system and Venturi skimmer than you could potentially have a maintenance free swimming pool and could then use all of your spare time to just enjoy the pool.  I have also posted about these items in the past including the Venturi skimmer for you to take a look at and I assure you                                                         that you will be intrigued.

AquaLink Z4


AquaLink RS One Touch

Another line of very intriguing products are Zodiac’s automation systems the AquaLink Z4 and AquaLink RS.  Both of these systems allow you to sit back and let the pool take care of itself.  The RS system is a little more complex as far as what it can do but both of these systems are designed to be user friendly and allow you the pool owner to make certain changes to the pool at the touch of a button.  One of the coolest things is that you can now hook up these systems to the internet and access them from your mobile device.  Out of town? Forget to turn down your heat pump?  Leave the water feature on?  Just pull out your phone and turn it down, or turn it off without burdening a neighbor to go over and do it.

These products are all things that are available today.  for more information look at my other posts, or go to the websites,  Talk with your builder to see if they offer these products and if not you may want to consider another company.  These products work well and could potentially create a very relaxing environment free of the stress of pool maintenance.