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Jump to navigation Jump to search Swimming pool sanitation is the process of ensuring healthy conditions in swimming pools. Proper sanitation is needed to maintain the visual clarity of water and to prevent the transmission of infectious waterborne diseases. Two distinct and separate methods are employed in the sanitation of a swimming pool. The consecutive dilution system to allow the removal of organic waste on a daily basis by using the sieve baskets inside the skimmer and circulation pump and the sand unit with a backwash facility for easy removal of organic waste from the water circulation. Disinfection normally in the form of Hypochlorous acid (HClO) to kill infectious microorganisms. Alongside these two distinct measures within the pool owners jurisdiction, swimmer hygiene and cleanliness helps reduce organic waste build up. The World Health Organization has published international guidelines for the safety of swimming pools and similar recreational-water environments, including standards for minimizing microbial and chemical hazards. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information on pool sanitation and water related illnesses for health professionals and the public. The main organizations providing certifications for pool and spa operators and technicians are the National Swimming Pool Foundation and Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. The certifications are accepted by many state and local health departments. Swimming pool contaminants are introduced from environmental sources and swimmers. Affecting primarily outdoor swimming pools, environmental contaminants include windblown dirt and debris, incoming water from unsanitary sources, rain containing microscopic algae spores and droppings from birds possibly harbouring disease-causing pathogens. Indoor pools are less susceptible to environmental contaminants. Contaminants introduced by swimmers can dramatically influence the operation of indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Sources include micro-organisms from infected swimmers and body oils including sweat, cosmetics, suntan lotion, urine, saliva and fecal matter; for example, it was estimated by researchers that swimming pools contain, on average, 30 to 80 mL of urine for each person that uses the pool. In addition, the interaction between disinfectants and pool water contaminants can produce a mixture of chloramines and other disinfection by-products. The journal Environmental Science & Technology reported that sweat and urine react with chlorine and produce trichloramine and cyanogen chloride, two chemicals dangerous to human health.  Nitrosamines are another type of the disinfection by-products that are of concern as a potential health hazard. Acesulfame potassium is widely used in the human diet and excreted by the kidneys. It has been used by researchers as a marker to estimate to what degree swimming pools are contaminated by urine. It was estimated that a commercial-size swimming pool of 220,000 gallons would contain about 20 gallons of urine, equivalent to about 2 gallons of urine in a typical residential pool. Pathogenic contaminants are of greatest concern in swimming pools as they have been associated with numerous recreational water illnesses (RWIs). Public health pathogens can be present in swimming pools as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and fungi. Diarrhea is the most commonly reported illness associated with pathogenic contaminants, while other diseases associated with untreated pools are Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis. Other illnesses commonly occurring in poorly maintained swimming pools include otitis externa, commonly called swimmers ear, skin rashes and respiratory infections. Contamination can be minimized by good swimmer hygiene practices such as showering before and after swimming, and not letting children with intestinal disorders swim. Effective treatments are needed to address contaminants in pool water because preventing the introduction of pool contaminants, pathogenic and non-pathogenic, into swimming pools is impossible. A well-maintained, properly operating pool filtration and re-circulation system is the first barrier in combating contaminants large enough to be filtered. Rapid removal of filterable contaminants reduces the impact on the disinfection system thereby limiting the formation of chloramines, restricting the formation of disinfection by-products and optimizing sanitation effectiveness. To kill pathogens and help prevent recreational water illnesses, pool operators must maintain proper levels of chlorine or another sanitizer. Over time, calcium from municipal water tends to accumulate, developing salt deposits in the swimming pool walls and equipment (filters, pumps), reducing their effectiveness. Therefore, it is advised to either completely drain the pool, and refill it with fresh water, or recycle the existing pool water, using reverse osmosis. The advantage of the latter method is that 90% of the water can be reused. Pool operators must also store and handle cleaning and sanitation chemicals safely. Disease prevention should be the top priority for every water quality management program for pool and spa operators. Disinfection is critical to protect against pathogens, and is best managed through routine monitoring and maintenance of chemical feed equipment to ensure optimum chemical levels in accordance with state and local regulations. Modern digital equipment when used in conjunction with automatic chemical feeders results in stable pH and chlorine levels. Local jurisdiction may demand a wait time if chemicals are added by hand to the water so that swimmers are not injured. Chemical parameters include disinfectant levels according to regulated pesticide label directions. pH should be kept between 7.2-7.8. Human tears have a pH of 7.4, making this an ideal point to set a pool. More often than not, it is improper pH and not the sanitiser that is responsible for irritating swimmers' skin and eyes. Total alkalinity should be 80-120 ppm and calcium hardness between 200 – 400 ppm. Good hygienic behavior at swimming pools is also important for reducing health risk factors at swimming pools and spas. Showering before swimming can reduce introduction of contaminants to the pool, and showering again after swimming will help to remove any that way have been picked up by the swimmer. Those with diarrhea or other gastroenteritis illnesses should not swim within 2 weeks of an outbreak, especially children. Cryptosporidium is chlorine resistant. To minimize exposure to pathogens, swimmers should avoid getting water into their mouths and never swallow pool or spa water. Maintaining an effective concentration of disinfectant is critically important in assuring the safety and health of swimming pool and spa users. When any of these pool chemicals are used, it is very important to keep the pH of the pool in the range 7.2 to 7.8-according to the Langelier Saturation Index, or 7.8 to 8.2- according to the Hamilton Index; higher pH drastically reduces the sanitizing power of the chlorine due to reduced oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), while lower pH causes bather discomfort, especially to the eyes. However, according to the Hamilton Index, a higher pH can reduce unnecessary chlorine consumption while still remaining effective at preventing algae and bacteria growth. To help ensure the health of bathers and protect pool equipment, it is essential to perform routine monitoring of water quality factors (or "parameters") on a regular basis. This process becomes the essence of an optimum water quality management program. Conventional halogen-based oxidizers such as chlorine and bromine are convenient and economical primary sanitizers for swimming pools and provide a residual level of sanitizer that remains in the water. Chlorine-releasing compounds are the most popular and frequently used in swimming pools whereas bromine-releasing compounds have found heightened popularity in spas and hot tubs. Both are members of the halogen group with demonstrated ability to destroy and deactivate a wide range of potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses in swimming pools and spas. Both exhibit three essential elements as ideal first-line-of-defense sanitizers for swimming pools and spas: they are fast-acting and enduring, they are effective algaecides, and they oxidize undesired contaminants. Swimming pools can be disinfected with a variety of chlorine-releasing compounds. The most basic of these compounds is molecular chlorine (Cl2); however, its application is primarily in large commercial public swimming pools. Inorganic forms of chlorine-releasing compounds frequently used in residential and public swimming pools include sodium hypochlorite commonly known as liquid bleach or simply bleach, calcium hypochlorite and lithium hypochlorite. Chlorine residuals from Cl2 and inorganic chlorine-releasing compounds break down rapidly in sunlight. To extend their disinfectant usefulness and persistence in outdoor settings, swimming pools treated with one or more of the inorganic forms of chlorine-releasing compounds can be supplemented with cyanuric acid—a granular stabilizing agent capable of extending the active chlorine residual half-life (t½) by four to sixfold. Chlorinated isocyanurates, a family of organic chlorine-releasing compounds, are stabilized to prevent UV degradation due to the presence of cyanurate as part of their chemical backbone. Chlorine reacting with urea in urine and other nitrogen-containing wastes from bathers can produce chloramines. Chloramines typically occur when an insufficient amount of chlorine is used to disinfect a contaminated pool. Chloramines are generally responsible for the noxious, irritating smell prominently occurring in indoor pool settings. A common way to remove chloramines is to "superchlorinate" (commonly called "shocking") the pool with a high dose of inorganic chlorine sufficient to deliver 10 ppm chlorine. Regular superchlorination (every two weeks in summer) helps to eliminate these unpleasant odors in the pool. Levels of chloramines and other volatile compounds in water can be minimized by reducing contaminants that lead to their formation (e.g., urea, creatinine, amino acids and personal care products) as well as by use of non-chlorine "shock oxidizers" such as potassium peroxymonosulfate. Medium pressure UV technology is used to control the level of chloramines in indoor pools. It is also used as a secondary form of disinfection to address chlorine tolerant pathogens. A properly sized and maintained UV system should remove the need to shock for chloramines, although shocking would still be used to address a fecal accident in the pool. UV will not replace chlorine, but is used to control the level of chloramines, which are responsible for the odor, irritation, and enhanced corrosion at an indoor pool. Copper ion systems use a low voltage current across copper bars (solid copper, or a mixture of copper and zinc or silver) to free copper ions into the flow of pool water to kill organisms such as algae in the water and provide a "residual" in the water. Alternative systems also use titanium plates to produce oxygen in the water to help degrade organic compounds. An electrically operated water pump is the prime motivator in recirculating the water from the pool. Water is forced through a filter and then returned to the pool. Using a water pump by itself is often not sufficient to completely sanitize a pool. Commercial and public pool pumps usually run 24 hours a day for the entire operating season of the pool. Residential pool pumps are typical run for 4 hours per day in winter (when the pool is not in use) and up to 24 hours in summer. To save electricity costs, most pools run water pumps for between 6 hours and 12 hours in summer with the pump being controlled by an electronic timer. Most pool pumps available today incorporate a small filter basket as the last effort to avoid leaf or hair contamination reaching the close-tolerance impeller section of the pump. A pressure-fed sand filter is typically placed in line immediately after the water pump. The filter typically contains a medium such as graded sand (called '14/24 Filter Media' in the UK system of grading the size of sand by sifting through a fine brass-wire mesh of 14 to the inch (5.5 per centimeter) to 24 to the inch (9.5 per cm)). A pressure fed sand filter is termed a 'High Rate' sand filter, and will generally filter turbid water of particulates no less than 10 micrometers in size. The rapid sand filter type are periodically 'back washed' as contaminants reduce water flow and increase back pressure. Indicated by a pressure gauge on the pressure side of the filter reaching into the 'red line' area, the pool owner is alerted to the need to 'backwash' the unit. The sand in the filter will typically last five to seven years before all the "rough edges" are worn off and the more tightly packed sand no longer works as intended. Recommended filtration for public/commercial pools are 1 ton sand per 100,000 liters water (10 ounces avdp. per cubic foot of water) [7.48 US or 6.23 UK gallons]. Introduced in the early 1900s was another type of sand filter; the 'Rapid Sand' filter, whereby water was pumped into the top of a large volume tank (3' 0" or more cube) (1 cubic yard/200US gal/170UK gal/770 liters) containing filter grade sand, and returning to the pool through a pipe at the bottom of the tank. As there is no pressure inside this tank, they were also known as 'gravity filters'. These type of filters are not greatly effective, and are no longer common in home swimming pools, being replaced by the pressure-fed type filter. Some filters use diatomaceous earth to help filter out contaminants. Commonly referred to as 'D.E.' filters, they exhibit superior filtration capabilities. Often a D.E. filter will trap waterborne contaminants as small as 1 micrometer in size. D.E. filters are banned in some states, as they must be emptied out periodically and the contaminated media flushed down the sewer, causing a problem in some districts' sewage systems. Other filter media that have been introduced to the residential swimming pool market since 1970 include sand particles and paper type cartridge filters of 50 to 150 square feet (14 m2) filter area arranged in a tightly packed 12" diameter x 24" long (300 mm x 600 mm) accordion-like circular cartridge. These units can be 'daisy-chained' together to collectively filter almost any size home pool. The cartridges are typically cleaned by removal from the filter body and hosing-off down a sewer connection. They are popular where backwashed water from a sand filter is not allowed to be discharged or goes into the aquifer. Automated pool cleaner Automated pool cleaners more commonly known as "Automatic pool cleaners" and in particular electric, robotic pool cleaners provide an extra measure of filtration, and in fact like the handheld vacuums can microfilter a pool, which a sand filter without flocculation or coagulalents is unable to accomplish  These cleaners are independent from the pool's main filter and pump system and are powered by a separate electricity source, usually in the form of a set-down transformer that is kept at least 10 feet (3.0 m) from the water in the pool, often on the pool deck. They have two internal motors: one to suck in water through a self-contained filter bag and then return the filtered water at a high rate of speed back into the pool water. The second is a drive motor that is connected to tractor-like rubber or synthetic tracks and "brushes" connected by rubber or plastic bands via a metal shaft. The brushes, resembling paint rollers, are located on the front and back of the machine and help remove contaminating particles from the pool's floor, walls (and in some designs even the pool steps) depending on size and configuration. They also direct the particles into the internal filter bag. Saline chlorination units, electronic oxidation systems, ionization systems, microbe disinfection with ultra-violet lamp systems, and "Tri-Chlor Feeders" are other independent or auxiliary systems for swimming pool sanitation. A consecutive dilution system is arranged to consecutively remove organic waste that has been skimmed from the surface of the water. The surface water is pulled through the skimmer mouth where large organic waste is trapped inside the skimmer basket sieve. Each sieve basket reduces in mesh size to dilute the size of the contaminant as it passes through the consecutive dilution system. Dilution defines as the action of making something weaker in force, content, or value. The second consecutive sieve basket is attached to the circulation pump. Here the 25% of water drawn from the main drain at the bottom of the swimming pool meets the 75% of water drawn from the surface of the water. The circulation pumps sieve basket is easily accessible by the pool owner to be emptied daily. The third consecutive sieve is the sand unit. Here smaller organic waste that has slipped through the previous consecutive sieves is trapped by the sand. If not removed regularly the organic waste will continue to rot down and leech into the water. Through this dilution process it allows the organic waste to be easily removed via the sieve baskets and ultimately to be back washed to remove smaller organic waste trapped in the sand sieve to stop it leeching ammonia and other compounds into the recirculated water causing (DBP's). The sieve baskets are easily removed daily for cleaning as is the sand unit which should be back washed at least once a week. With a perfectly maintained consecutive dilution system the build up of Chloramines and other disinfection bye products(DBP's) can be drastically reduced. The water returned to the pool should have been sieved of all organic waste above 10 microns. Water is typically drawn from the pool via a rectangular aperture in the wall, connected through to a device fitted into one (or more) wall/s of the pool. The internals of the skimmer are accessed from the pool deck through a circular or rectangle lid, about one foot in diameter. If the pool's water pump is operational water is drawn from the pool over a floating hinged weir (operating from a vertical position to 90 degrees angle away from the pool, in order to stop leaves and debris being back-flooded into the pool by wave action), and down into a removable "skimmer basket", the purpose of which is to entrap leaves, dead insects and other larger floating debris. The aperture visible from the pool side is typically 1' 0" (300 mm) wide by 6" (150 mm) high, which intersects the water midway though the center of the aperture. Skimmers with apertures wider than this are termed "wide angle" skimmers and may be as much as 2' 0" wide (600 mm). Floating skimmers have the advantage of not being affected by the level of the water as these are adjusted to work with the rate of pump suction and will retain optimum skimming regardless of water level leading to a markedly reduced amount of bio-material in the water. Skimmers should always have a leaf basket or filter between it and the pump to avoid blockages in the pipes leading to the pump and filter. The water returning to the pool from the consecutive dilution system is passed through return jets below the surface of the water. The return jets are designed to impact a turbulent flow as the water enters the pool. This turbulent flow as a force is far less than the mass of the water in the pool and the turbulent flow takes the least pressure route to the surface where surface tension reforms it into a laminar flow on the surface water. As the returned water disturbs the water surface it creates a capillary wave. The capillary wave if the return jets are positioned correctly creates a circular motion within the surface tension of the water allowing the surface water to slowly circulate around the pool walls. Organic waste floating on the surface through this circulation from the capillary wave is slowly drawn passed the mouth of the skimmer where it is pulled in due to the laminar flow and surface tension over the skimmer weir. In a well designed pool this circulation caused by the disturbed returned water aids in removing organic waste from the pools surface to be trapped inside the consecutive dilution system for easy disposal. Many return jets are equipped with a swivel nozzle which if used correctly will further induce a circulation in the depths of the water further cleaning the pool. When the jet nozzles are turned to one direction e.g. both to the right an anti clockwise rotation within the whole depth of pool water will exist. If turned to the left it will create a clockwise movement within the depths of the water. This rotation has the benefit of cleaning the bottom of the pool and slowly moving sunken inorganic debris to the main drain where the debris is removed by the circulation pump basket sieve. In a correctly constructed pool this rotation of the water caused by the return water from the consecutive dilution system will reduce or even remove the need to hoover the bottom of the pool. To gain the maximum rotation force on the main body of water the consecutive dilution system needs to be as clean and unblocked as possible to allow maximum flow pressure from the pump. As the water rotates it also disturbs organic waste in the lower water layers and forces it to the top of the pool water. This rotational force the pool return jets create is the most important part of cleaning the pool water and pushing organic waste across the mouth of the skimmer. With a correctly designed and operated swimming pool this circulation can be seen and after a period of time the circulation will reach even the deep end and impart a low velocity vortex above the main drain due to suction. Correct use of the return jets is the most effective way of removing disinfection bye products caused by decomposing organic waste from the water depths and pulling it into the consecutive dilution system for immediate disposal. Other equipment which may be optioned in the recirculation system include pool water heaters. They can be heat pumps, natural gas or propane gas heaters, electric heaters, wood burning heaters, or Solar hot water panel heaters - increasingly used in the sustainable design of pools. Diversions to electronic oxidation systems, ionization systems, microbe disinfectinon with ultra-violet lamp systems, and "Tri-Chlor Feeders" are other auxiliary systems for Swimming pool sanitation; as well as solar panels; are in most cases required to be placed after the filtration equipment, and are the last items before the water is returned to the pool. Features that are part of the water circulation system can extend treatment capacity needs for sizing calculations and can include: artificial streams and waterfalls, in-pool fountains, integrated hot tubs and spas, water slides and sluices, artificial "pebble beaches", submerged seating as bench-ledges or as "stools" at in-pool bars, plunge pools, and shallow children's wading pools.
Jump to search Artificial container filled with water intended for swimming For other uses, see Swimming pool (disambiguation). Backyard swimming pool Olympic swimming pool and starting blocks used for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or paddling pool is a structure designed to hold water to enable swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground (in-ground pools) or built above ground (as a freestanding construction or as part of a building or other larger structure), and are also a common feature aboard ocean-liners and cruise ships. In-ground pools are most commonly constructed from materials such as concrete, natural stone, metal, plastic or fiberglass, and can be of a custom size and shape or built to a standardized size, the largest of which is the Olympic-size swimming pool. Many health clubs, fitness centers and private clubs have pools used mostly for exercise or recreation. Many towns and cities provide public pools. Many hotels have pools available for their guests to use at their leisure. Educational facilities such as universities typically have pools for physical education classes, recreational activities, leisure or competitive athletics such as swimming teams. Hot tubs and spas are pools filled with hot water, used for relaxation or hydrotherapy, and are common in homes, hotels, and health clubs. Special swimming pools are also used for diving, specialized water sports, physical therapy as well as for the training of lifeguards and astronauts. Swimming pools may be heated or unheated. See also: History of water supply and sanitation Ancient Roman baths in Bath, England, UK The "Great Bath" at the site of Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Pakistan was most likely the first swimming pool, dug during the 3rd millennium BC. This pool is 12 by 7 metres (39 by 23 feet), is lined with bricks, and was covered with a tar-based sealant. Ancient Greeks and Romans built artificial pools for athletic training in the palaestras, for nautical games and for military exercises. Roman emperors had private swimming pools in which fish were also kept, hence one of the Latin words for a pool was piscina. The first heated swimming pool was built by Gaius Maecenas of Rome in the 1st century BC. Gaius Maecenas was a rich Roman lord and considered one of the first patrons of arts. Ancient Sinhalese built pairs of pools called "Kuttam Pokuna" in the kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in the 4th century BC. They were decorated with flights of steps, punkalas or pots of abundance, and scroll design. Swimming pools became popular in Britain in the mid-19th century. As early as 1837, six indoor pools with diving boards existed in London, England. The Maidstone Swimming Club in Maidstone, Kent is believed to be the oldest surviving swimming club in Britain. It was formed in 1844, in response to concerns over drownings in the River Medway, especially since would-be rescuers would often drown because they themselves could not swim to safety. The club used to swim in the River Medway, and would hold races, diving competitions and water polo matches. The South East Gazette July 1844 reported an aquatic breakfast party: coffee and biscuits were served on a floating raft in the river. The coffee was kept hot over a fire; club members had to tread water and drink coffee at the same time. The last swimmers managed to overturn the raft, to the amusement of 150 spectators. The Amateur Swimming Association was founded in 1869 in England, and the Oxford Swimming Club in 1909. The presence of indoor baths in the cobbled area of Merton Street might have persuaded the less hardy of the aquatic brigade to join. So, bathers gradually became swimmers, and bathing pools became swimming pools.. In 1939, Oxford created its first major public indoor pool at Temple Cowley. The modern Olympic Games started in 1896 and included swimming races, after which the popularity of swimming pools began to spread. In the US, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia clubhouse (1907) boasts one of the world's first modern above-ground swimming pools. The first swimming pool to go to sea on an ocean liner was installed on the White Star Line's Adriatic in 1906. The oldest known public swimming pool in America, Underwood Pool, is located in Belmont, Massachusetts. Interest in competitive swimming grew following World War I. Standards improved and training became essential. Home swimming pools became popular in the United States after World War II and the publicity given to swimming sports by Hollywood films such as Esther Williams' Million Dollar Mermaid made a home pool a desirable status symbol. More than 50 years later, the home or residential swimming pool is a common sight. Some small nations enjoy a thriving swimming pool industry (e.g., New Zealand pop. 4,116,900 [Source NZ Census 7 March 2006] – holds the record in pools per capita with 65,000 home swimming pools and 125,000 spa pools). A two-storey, white concrete swimming pool building composed of horizontal cubic volumes built in 1959 at the Royal Roads Military College is on the Registry of Historic Places of Canada. Further information: List of largest swimming pools Moskva Pool, at one time the largest swimming pool in the world (1980) According to the Guinness World Records, the largest swimming pool in the world is San Alfonso del Mar Seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile. It is 1,013 m (3,323 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (20 acres). At its deepest, it is 3.5 m (11 ft) deep. It was completed in December 2006. The largest indoor wave pool in North America is at the West Edmonton Mall and the largest indoor pool is at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in the Sonny Carter Training Facility at NASA JSC in Houston. In 2014, the Y-40 swimming pool at the Hotel Terme Millepini in Padua, Italy became the deepest indoor pool, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records The recreational diving center Nemo 33 near Brussels, Belgium previously held the record until the Y-40 was completed. The Fleishhacker Pool in San Francisco was the largest heated outdoor swimming pool in the United States. Opened on 23 April 1925, it measured 1,000 by 150 ft (300 by 50 m) and was so large that the lifeguards required kayaks for patrol. It was closed in 1971 due to low patronage. In Europe, the largest swimming pool opened in 1934 in Elbląg (Poland), providing a water area of 33,500 square metres (361,000 sq ft). One of the largest swimming pools ever built was reputedly created in Moscow after the Palace of Soviets remained uncompleted. The foundations of the palace were converted into the Moskva Pool open-air swimming pool after the process of de-Stalinisation. However, after the fall of communism, Christ the Saviour Cathedral was re-built on the site between 1995 and 2000; the cathedral had originally been located there. The highest swimming pool is believed to be in Yangbajain (Tibet, China). This resort is located at 4200 m AMSL and has two indoor swimming pools and one outdoor swimming pool, all filled with water from hot springs. Cairns Lagoon, a public swimming pool in Australia Rooftop pool in Manhattan See: Competition pools (below) Length: Most pools in the world are measured in metres, but in the United States pools are often measured in feet and yards. In the UK most pools are calibrated in metres, but older pools measured in yards still exist. In the US, pools tend to either be 25 yards (SCY-short course yards), 25 metres (SCM-short course metres) or 50 metres (long course). US high schools and the NCAA conduct short course (25 yards) competition. There are also many pools 33⅓ m long, so that 3 lengths = 100 m. This pool dimension is commonly used to accommodate water polo. USA Swimming (USA-S) swims in both metric and non-metric pools. However, the international standard is metres, and world records are only recognized when swum in 50 m pools (or 25 m for short course) but 25-yard pools are very common in the US. In general, the shorter the pool, the faster the time for the same distance, since the swimmer gains speed from pushing off the wall after each turn at the end of the pool. Width: Most European pools are between 10 m and 50 m wide. Depth: The depth of a swimming pool depends on the purpose of the pool, and whether it is open to the public or strictly for private use. If it is a private casual, relaxing pool, it may go from 1.0 to 2.0 m (3.3 to 6.6 ft) deep. If it is a public pool designed for diving, it may slope from 3.0 to 5.5 m (10 to 18 ft) in the deep end. A children's play pool may be from 0.3 to 1.2 m (1 to 4 ft) deep. Most public pools have differing depths to accommodate different swimmer requirements. In many jurisdictions, it is a requirement to show the water depth with clearly marked depths affixed to the pool walls. Children playing in an above-ground pool Pools can be either indoors or outdoors. They can be of any size and shape, and inground or above ground. Most pools are permanent fixtures, while others are temporary, collapsible structures. Private pools are usually smaller than public pools, on average 3.7 m × 7.3 m (12 ft × 24 ft) to 6.1 m × 12.2 m (20 ft × 40 ft) whereas public pools usually start at 24 m (80 ft). Home pools can be permanently built-in, or be assembled above ground and disassembled after summer. Privately owned outdoor pools in backyards or gardens started to proliferate in the 1950s in regions with warm summer climates, particularly in the United States with desegregation. Construction methods for private pools vary greatly. The main types of in-ground pools are gunite shotcrete, concrete, vinyl-lined, and one-piece fiberglass shells. Many countries now have strict pool fencing requirements for private swimming pools, which require pool areas to be isolated so that unauthorized children younger than six years cannot enter. Many countries require a similar level of protection for the children residing in or visiting the house, although many pool owners prefer the visual aspect of the pool in close proximity to their living areas, and will not provide this level of protection. There is no consensus between states or countries on the requirements to fence private swimming pools, and in many places they are not required at all, particularly in rural settings. Inexpensive temporary polyvinyl chloride pools can be bought in supermarkets and taken down after summer. They are used mostly outdoors in yards, are typically shallow, and often their sides are inflated with air to stay rigid. When finished, the water and air can be let out and this type of pool can be folded up for convenient storage. They are regarded in the swimming pool industry as "splasher" pools intended for cooling off and amusing toddlers and children, not for swimming, hence the alternate name of "kiddie" pools. Toys are available for children and other people to play with in pool water. They are often blown up with air so they are soft but still reasonably rugged, and can float in water. Tooting Bec Lido, in South London Public pools are often part of a larger leisure centre or recreational complex. These centres often have more than one pool, such as an indoor heated pool, an outdoor (chlorinated, saltwater or ozonated) pool which may be heated or unheated, a shallower children's pool, and a paddling pool for toddlers and infants. There may also be a sauna and one or more hot tubs or spa pools ("jacuzzis"). Many upscale hotels and holiday resorts have a swimming pool for use by their guests. If a pool is in a separate building, the building may be called a natatorium. The building may sometimes also have facilities for related activities, such as a diving tank. Larger pools sometimes have a diving board affixed at one edge above the water. Many public swimming pools are rectangles 25 m or 50 m long, but they can be any size and shape. There are also elaborate pools with artificial waterfalls, fountains, splash pads, wave machines, varying depths of water, bridges, and island bars. Some swimming facilities have lockers for clothing and other belongings. The lockers can require a coin to be inserted in a slot, either as deposit or payment. There are usually showers - sometimes mandatory - before and/or after swimming. There are often also lifeguards to ensure the safety of users. Wading or paddling pools are shallow bodies of water intended for use by small children, usually in parks. Concrete wading pools come in many shapes, traditionally rectangle, square or circle. Some are filled and drained daily due to lack of a filter system. Staff chlorinate the water to ensure health and safety standards. Racing pool at the University of Minnesota A simplified diagram of the FINA long course swimming pool standard, used at the World Championships and Summer Olympics See: #Dimensions (above) and Swimming (sport)#Competition pools The Fédération Internationale de la Natation (FINA, International Swimming Federation) sets standards for competition pools: 25 or 50 m (82 or 164 ft) long and at least 1.35 m (4.4 ft) deep. Competition pools are generally indoors and heated to enable their use all year round, and to more easily comply with the regulations regarding temperature, lighting, and automatic officiating equipment. An Olympic-size swimming pool (first used at the 1924 Olympics) is a pool that meets FINA's additional standards for the Olympic Games and for world championship events. It must be 50 by 25 m (164 by 82 ft) wide, divided into eight lanes of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) each, plus two areas of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) at each side of the pool. Depth must be at least 2 m (6.6 ft). The water must be kept at 25–28 °C (77–82 °F) and the lighting level at greater than 1500 lux. There are also regulations for color of lane rope, positioning of backstroke flags (5 metres from each wall), and so on. Pools claimed to be "Olympic pools" do not always meet these regulations, as FINA cannot police use of the term. Touchpads are mounted on both walls for long course meets and each end for short course. A pool may be referred to as fast or slow, depending on its physical layout. Some design considerations allow the reduction of swimming resistance making the pool faster: namely, proper pool depth, elimination of currents, increased lane width, energy absorbing racing lane lines and gutters, and the use of other innovative hydraulic, acoustic and illumination designs. In the last two decades, a new style of pool has gained popularity. These consist of a small vessel (usually about 2.5 × 5 m) in which the swimmer swims in place, either against the push of an artificially generated water current or against the pull of restraining devices. These pools have several names, such as swim spas, swimming machines, or swim systems. They are all examples of different modes of resistance swimming. A home spa A boy relaxing in a hot tub Hot tubs and spa pools are common heated pools used for relaxation and sometimes for therapy. Commercial spas are common in the swimming pool area or sauna area of a health club or fitness centre, in men's clubs, women's clubs, motels and exclusive five-star hotel suites. Spa clubs may have very large pools, some segmented into increasing temperatures. In Japan, men's clubs with many spas of different size and temperature are common. Commercial spas are generally made of concrete, with a mosaic tiled interior. More recently with the innovation of the pre-form composite method where mosaic tiles are bonded to the shell this enables commercial spas to be completely factory manufactured to specification and delivered in one piece. Hot tubs are typically made somewhat like a wine barrel with straight sides, from wood such as Californian redwood held in place by metal hoops. Immersion of the head is not recommended in spas or hot tubs due to a potential risk of underwater entrapment from the pump suction forces. However, commercial installations in many countries must comply with various safety standards which reduce this risk considerably. Home spas are a worldwide retail item in western countries since the 1980s, and are sold in dedicated spa stores, pool shops, department stores, the Internet, and catalog sales books. They are almost always made from heat-extruded acrylic sheet Perspex, often colored in marble look-alike patterns. They rarely exceed 6 m2 (65 sq ft) and are typically 1 m (3 ft 3 in) deep, restricted by the availability of the raw sheet sizes (typically manufactured in Japan). There is often a mid-depth seating or lounging system, and contoured lounger style reclining seats are common. Upmarket spas include various jet nozzles (massage, pulsating, etc.), a drinks tray, lights, LCD flat-screen TV sets and other features that make the pool a recreation center. Due to their family-oriented nature, home spas are normally operated from 36 to 39 °C (97 to 102 °F). Many pools are incorporated in a redwood or simulated wood surround, and are termed "portable" as they may be placed on a patio rather than sunken into a permanent location. Some portable spas are shallow and narrow enough to fit sideways through a standard door and be used inside a room. Low power electric immersion heaters are common with home spas. Whirlpool tubs first became popular in America during the 1960s and 1970s. A spa is also called a "jacuzzi" in USA since the word became a generic after plumbing component manufacturer Jacuzzi introduced the "spa whirlpool" in 1968. Air bubbles may be introduced into the nozzles via an air-bleed venturi pump that combines cooler air with the incoming heated water to cool the pool if the temperature rises uncomfortably high. Some spas have a constant stream of bubbles fed via the seating area of the pool, or a footwell area. This is more common as a temperature control device where the heated water comes from a natural (uncontrolled heat) geothermal source, rather than artificially heated. Water temperature is usually very warm to hot — 38 to 42 °C (100 to 108 °F), so bathers usually stay in for only 20 to 30 minutes. Bromine or mineral sanitizers are often recommended as sanitizers for spas because chlorine dissipates at a high temperature thereby heightening its strong chemical smell. Ozone is an effective bactericide and is commonly included in the circulation system with cartridge filtration, but not with sand media filtration due to clogging problems with turbid body fats. An ocean pool at Coogee in Sydney, Australia In the early 20th century, especially in Australia, ocean pools were built, typically on headlands by enclosing part of the rock shelf, with water circulated through the pools by flooding from tidal tanks or by regular flooding over the side of the pools at high tide. This continued a pre-European tradition of bathing in rockpools with many of the current sites being expanded from sites used by Aboriginal Australians or early European settlers. Bathing in these pools provided security against both rough surf and sea life. There were often separate pools for women and men, or the pool was open to the sexes at different times with a break for bathers to climb in without fear of observation by the other sex. These were the forerunners of modern "Olympic" pools. A variation was the later development of sea- or harbour-side pools that circulated sea water using pumps. A pool of this type was the training ground for Australian Olympian Dawn Fraser. There are currently about 100 ocean baths in New South Wales, which can range from small pools roughly 25 metres long and "Olympic Sized" (50m) to the very large, such as the 50 × 100 m baths in Newcastle. While most are free, a number charge fees, such as the Bondi Icebergs Club pool at Bondi Beach. Despite the development of chlorinated and heated pools, ocean baths remain a popular form of recreation in New South Wales. A semi-natural ocean pool exists on the central coast of New South Wales; it is called The Bogey Hole. Infinity pool An infinity edge pool (also named negative edge or vanishing edge pool) is a swimming pool which produces a visual effect of water extending to the horizon, vanishing, or extending to "infinity". Often, the water appears to fall into an ocean, lake, bay, or other similar body of water. The illusion is most effective whenever there is a significant change in elevation, though having a natural body of water on the horizon is not a limiting factor. Natural pools were developed in central and western Europe in the early and mid-1980s by designers and landscape architects with environmental concerns. They have recently been growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional swimming pools. Natural pools are constructed bodies of water in which no chemicals or devices that disinfect or sterilize water are used, and all the cleaning of the pool is achieved purely with the motion of the water through biological filters and plants rooted hydroponically in the system. In essence, natural pools seek to recreate swimming holes and swimmable lakes, the environment where people feel safe swimming in a non-polluted, healthy, and ecologically balanced body of water. Water in natural pools has many desirable characteristics. For example, red eyes, dried-out skin and hair, and bleached bathing suits associated with overly chlorinated water are naturally absent in natural pools. Natural pools, by requiring a water garden to be a part of the system, offer different aesthetic options and can support amphibious wildlife such as snails, frogs, and salamanders, and even small fish if desired. A zero-entry swimming pool, also called a beach entry swimming pool, is a swimming pool having an edge or entry that gradually slopes from the deck into the water, becoming deeper with each step, in the manner of a natural beach. As there are no stairs or ladders to navigate, this type of entry assists older people, young children and people with accessibility problems (e.g., people with a physical disability) where gradual entry is useful. Indoor pools are located inside, under a roof and insulated by at least three walls. Built for the purpose of year-round swimming or training, they are found in all climate types. Since the pool room is insulated, it is less likely the heat will escape; making it less expensive to heat than an outdoor pool where the heat will escape. Architecturally, the indoor pool may look like the rest of the house, but in terms of engineering, variables such as heating and ventilation are required to ensure comfortable humidity levels. In addition to drainage and automatic pool covers, there are a number of ways to remove humidity in the air that is present with any wet indoor environment. Efficient dehumidification in the indoor pool environment prevents structural damage, lowers energy costs in addition to improving the room's climate to make it a comfortable swimming environment. An astronaut prepares to descend into a swimming pool as part of a training exercise. Swimming pools are also used for events such as synchronized swimming, water polo, canoe polo and underwater sports such as underwater hockey, underwater rugby, finswimming and sport diving as well as for teaching diving, lifesaving and scuba diving techniques. They have also been used for specialist tasks such as teaching water-ditching survival techniques for aircraft and submarine crews and astronaut training. Round-cornered, irregular swimming pools, such as the Nude Bowl, were drained of water and used for vertical skateboarding. Main article: Swimming pool sanitation Levels of bacteria and viruses in swimming pool water must be kept low to prevent the spread of diseases and pathogens. Bacteria, algae and insect larvae can enter the pool if water is not properly sanitized. Pumps, mechanical sand filters, and disinfectants are often used to sanitise the water. Chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine (usually as a hypochlorite salt, such as calcium hypochlorite) and bromine, are commonly used to kill pathogens. If not properly maintained, chemical sanitation can produce high levels of disinfection byproducts. Sanitized swimming pool water can theoretically appear green if a certain amount of iron salts or copper chloride are present in the water. Acesulfame potassium has been used to estimate how much urine is discharged by swimmers into a pool. In a Canadian study it was estimated that swimmers had released 75 litres of urine into a large pool that had about 830,000 litres of water and was a third of the size of an olympic pool. Hot tubs were found to have higher readings of the marker. While urine itself is sterile, its degradation products may lead to asthma. Swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by using a pool cover. Use of a pool cover also can help reduce the amount of chemicals (chlorine, etc.) required by the pool. Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. Though a cover decreases the total amount of solar heat absorbed by the pool, the cover eliminates heat loss due to evaporation and reduces heat loss at night through its insulating properties. Most swimming pool heat loss is through evaporation. The heating effectiveness of a cover depends on type. A transparent bubble cover is the most effective, as it allows the largest amount of solar flux into the pool itself. Thermal bubble covers are lightweight UV-stabilized floating covers designed to minimize heat loss on heated swimming pools. Typically they are only fitted in spring and fall (autumn) when the temperature difference between pool water and air temperature is greatest. When used consistently they can raise average pool temperatures of an outdoor pool by around 18 °Fahrenheit (11 °Celsius) when combined with a well sized solar pool heating system, or about 11° Fahrenheit (6 °Celsius) without a solar heater but with full sun exposure. Bubble covers are typically applied and removed by being rolled up on a device fitted to one side of the pool (see illustration). Covers fall apart after four or five years due to sun exposure, overheating in the sun while off the pool, and chlorine attacking the plastic. Bubble covers should be removed during super chlorination. A vinyl cover absorbs more sunlight directly, allowing temperature to rise faster, but ultimately prevents the pool from reaching as high a temperature as a clear cover. Vinyl covers consist of a heavier material and have a longer life expectancy than bubble covers. Insulated vinyl covers are also available with a thin layer of flexible insulation sandwiched between two layers of vinyl. These covers are mandatory to be fitted to all pools in areas of Australia that have experienced drought since 2006. This is an effort to conserve water, as much water evaporates and transpires. An alternative to a continuous sheet of pool covering is multiple floating disks which are deployed and removed disk by disk. They cover most of the surface of the pool and offer evaporation reduction similar to continuous covers. Various types are available, for example opaque (for UV resistance and possible reduced algal growth), transparent (for esthetics), heavy and solid (for wind resistance), light and inflatable (for ease of handling). Liquid covers Liquid covers are also an option. They use a microscopically thin layer of liquid (such as cetyl alcohol) that sits on the water surface and reduces evaporation, which is one of the major sources of heat loss as well as water loss. Unlike other covers, the pool can be used while the liquid cover is in place, and the nontoxic material is safe for people as well as pumping / filtering systems. The liquid must be replenished regularly (monthly or more), and may not be effective in windy areas (since the wind will disperse the thin layer). Safety covers These covers are typically attached all winter, by hooked bungee cords or hooked springs connected to the pool deck, and are usually made in a variety of materials including coated or laminated vinyl or polypropylene mesh. They are custom designed to stop leaf debris from entering the pool but more importantly they also provide safety for animals and small children when designed and installed properly. The custom safety cover was invented in 1957 by Fred Meyer Jr. of Meyco Pool Covers when he found a dead animal in his pool. Today covers are made to meet ASTM safety barrier standards and have kept animals, people and even large vehicles out of the pool. They are not popular in warmer climates, due to the five to ten minutes it takes to fit/remove them, making them inconvenient for repeated application and removal. Automatic pool cover A pool cover can be either manually, semi-automatically, or automatically operated. Manual covers can be folded and stored in an off site location. Pool cover reels can also be used to help manually roll up the pool cover. The reel, usually on wheels, can be rolled in or out of place. Semi-automatic covers use a motor-driven reel system. They use electrical power to roll and unroll the cover, but usually require someone to pull on the cover when unrolling, or guide the cover onto the reel when rolling up the cover. Semi-automatic covers can be built into the pool deck surrounding the pool, or can use reels on carts. Automatic covers have permanently mounted reels that automatically cover and uncover the pool at the push of a button. They are the most expensive option, but are also the most convenient. These reels can be run from either an external motor requiring a pit to be dug beside the pool or using an internal motor that spins the reel. Some pool covers fit into tracks along the sides of the pool. This prevents anything or anybody from getting into the pool. They even support the weight of several people. They can be run manually, semi-automatically, or automatically. Safety covers may be required by inspectors for public pools. In areas which reach freezing temperature, it is important to close a pool properly. This varies greatly between in-ground and above-ground pools. By taking steps to properly secure the pool, it lessens the likelihood that the superstructure will be damaged or compromised by freezing water. A rolled up Thermal Bubble pool cover, used to reduce water loss from evaporation and heat loss from the pool In preparation for freezing temperatures, an in-ground swimming pool's pipes must be emptied. An above-ground pool should also be closed, so that ice does not drag down the pool wall, collapsing its structure. The plumbing is sealed with air, typically with rubber plugs, to prevent cracking from freezing water. The pool is typically covered to prevent leaves and other debris from falling in. The cover is attached to the pool typically using a stretch cord, similar to a bungee cord and hooks fitted into the pool surround. The skimmer is closed off or a floating device is placed into it to prevent it from completely freezing and cracking. Floating objects such as life rings or basketballs can be placed in the pool to avoid its freezing under the cover. Sand or DE filters must be backwashed, with the main drain plug removed and all water drained out. Drain plugs on the pool filter are removed after the filter has been cleaned. The pool pump motor is taken under cover. Winter chemicals are added to keep the pool clean. The innovation of a composite construction of fibreglass, with an epoxy coating and porcelain ceramic tiles has led to the Pre-form, Composite-type with significant advantages over older methods; however, it also has increased sensitivity to metal staining. In climates where there is no risk of freezing, closing down the pool for winter is not so important. Typically, the thermal cover is removed and stored. Winter sunlight can create an algae mess when a cover that has been left on all winter is removed. The pool is correctly pH-balanced and super-chlorinated. One part algaecide for every 50,000 parts of pool water should be added, and topped up each month. The pool should be filtered for one to two hours daily to keep the automated chlorination system active. Pools pose a risk of drowning, which may be significant for swimmers who are inexperienced, suffer from seizures, or are susceptible to a heart or respiratory condition. Lifeguards are employed at most pools to execute water rescues and administer first aid as needed in order to reduce this risk. Diving in shallow areas of a pool may also lead to significant head and neck injuries; diving, especially head-first diving, should be done in the deepest point of the pool, minimally 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in), but desirably 3.7 m (12 ft), deeper if the distance between the water and the board is great. Pools also present a risk of death due to drowning, particularly in young children. In regions where residential pools are common, drowning is a major cause of childhood death. As a precaution, many jurisdictions require that residential pools be enclosed with fencing to restrict unauthorized access. Many products exist, such as removable baby fences. The evidence for floating alarms and window/door alarms to reduce the risk of drowning is poor. Some pools are equipped with computer-aided drowning prevention or other forms of electronic safety and security systems. Suspended ceilings in indoor swimming pools are safety-relevant components. The selection of materials under tension should be done with care. Especially the selection of unsuitable stainless steels can cause problems with stress corrosion cracking. Further information: Mixed bathing In public swimming pools, dress code may be stricter than on public beaches, and in indoor pools stricter than outdoor pools. For example, in countries where women can be topless on the beach, this is often not allowed in a swimming pool, and a swimsuit must be worn. For men, wearing ordinary shorts and a tee shirt to go in the water at a beach may be considered acceptable, but pools usually require real swim suits or other dedicated water wear. Swimming with regular clothes on is not only unhygienic, but can potentially weigh a swimmer down should he or she need to be rescued. In France and some other European countries, board shorts are usually not allowed for hygienic reasons. In Nordic countries and in particular Iceland, rules about clothing and hygiene are especially strict. When diving from a high board, swim suits are sometimes worn doubled up (one brief inside another) in case the outer suit tears on impact with the water.
Swimming Pool Design In Storybook Island