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Lightning & Pools Don’t Mix

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Lightning & Pools Don't Mix

A swimming pool indisputably offers numerous hours of relaxation and entertainment. However, experts report that swimming pools are dangerous features. Think about it. These spectacular features contain chlorine, an irritant to the skin and eyes. Also, they contain slippery surfaces and electric equipment. Did you know that lightning and pools don’t mix? Therefore, you should be careful when using pools.

Lightning & Pools Don't Mix

Once you notice anything unusual with your pool, leave the pool and seek help from a pool professional. Generally, there are specific safety measures you need to observe when using a pool.

Is it dangerous to swim when there’s a storm?

Whenever you hear lightning or thunder while in the pool, leave the pool immediately. Seeing raindrops fall into the pool may not be a big deal to most swimmers. But you have to stay alert and beware of upcoming storms. So, it would be best to leave the pool once it starts raining. Storms can cause electrocution to anyone in the pool.

The pool professionals at Sunsational Swim School say, “You should never swim during a thunderstorm; doing this is too dangerous.” “Remember, water is a good conductor of electricity. So, when lightning strikes the pool, it could lead to severe electrocution. Always vacate the pool immediately you see the signs of an incoming storm.”

Some experts like Ron Holle say that swimming pools are very small; thus, lightning is less likely to strike them directly. Nevertheless, keep in mind that pools encompass broad areas. Underground electric cables near the pools can lead to electrocution.

Unfortunately, swimmers can also become a channel for electric current to flow. When your body is wet, you offer the ideal path for electric current to flow. Ray Brosnan, a plumbing professional, reported that electric current will always find and travel to the ground through a path with minimal resistance once lightning strikes. And this leads to severe electrocution. Ultimately, it is clear to see that lightning and pools don’t mix.

How do you know a storm is near?

Usually, it is challenging to predict the occurrence of a storm. So, to be safe, get out of the pool immediately it starts raining. Lightning always strikes without notice, even when the storm is far away. The majority of pool owners always think lightning is far away simply because there are no signs of a storm. And this is wrong since lightning catches you unaware.

On the flip side, pool owners can always hear thunder from far away. However, it depends on your area. In Regions with many obstacles or too much noise, you may not be able to hear thunder. Also, note that it’s hard to notice lightning during the day when there’s light. However, during clear nights, you can see lightning from 80 miles away.

Pool Troopers professionals report, “Once you hear the sound of thunder, lightning is always on the corner.” But in some instances, lightning can strike out of nowhere. Thus, it would be best to be cautious at all times. Always leave the pool immediately you see any signs of a storm. In fact, leave the pool immediately rain starts dropping. Look for a safe space to relace and wait for the storm to seize. Alternatively, head home and watch your favorite movie or read your book.

Is it safe to wait by the poolside?

Waiting for the storm to seize while sited under the pergola or lounging chair is not a good idea. These chills spots have exposed sides that could put you in danger of electrocution. Some buildings contain metal sheds, carports, beach shacks that may not make them safe during a storm. All in all, it would be best if you avoided all outdoor spaces. Contrary to popular belief, porches are also not safe chill spots during a storm.

Since lightning and pools do not mix, look for an indoor shelter during a storm. Once you get a safe indoor space, avoid staying close to the doors, windows, and walls. In particular concrete walls and floors easily conduct electricity since they contain metal decking. Metal is a good conductor of electricity. Thus, lightning travels fast across the metal decking.

One of the best places you can use to shield yourself is inside your car. In case you can’t seem to find an indoor space, consider waiting in your car. You don’t necessarily have to leave the pool and go home. Storms are likely to last for approximately 30 minutes. So, you can continue swimming once half an hour us gone. Pool professionals usually recommend waiting approximately 30 minutes before going back into the pool.

The bottom line: Lightning and pools are enemies

Ultimately, it is safe to conclude that lightning and pools don’t mix. When lightning strikes pools, it can lead to electrocution. Usually, electric current looks for the path with the least resistance to flow. Your body serves as the ideal electrical path when you are wet. So, always leave the pool once you see signs of an upcoming storm. Look for a safe spot to shelter yourself as you wait for the storm to subside.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Pool Service

Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

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Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

Although swimming pools are excellent sources of entertainment, these spectacular features require regular maintenance. Maintaining a pool helps you attain crystal clear pool water. Indisputably, commercial or public pools require more maintenance due to frequent usage. Thus, all public pool owners should ensure their pool is safe and clean for use. As a swimmer, you have to ensure that the pool is safe for use. You can do this by checking when last the pool got inspected.

Many Public Pools Aren’t Passing Health Inspections

Generally, local authorities close thousands of pools that don’t meet all safety and health regulations every year. Based on previous statistics, more than 75% of public pools violated one or two safety measures issued by the state. Therefore, it is essential to keep your pool in good shape. Request for frequent inspections by your local authorities before the situation gets out of hand.

Cryptosporidium

Over the years, swimming pools have become a major cause of diseases. Swimming pools often contain a harmful parasite called cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium can survive in swimming pools even in the presence of chlorine. Luckily, there are specific techniques you can incorporate to get rid of this harmful parasite in your pool.

Removal of Cryptosporidium

One of the best ways to removing cryptosporidium is to foster maximum filtration. Nevertheless, note that you cannot get rid of these harmful parasites in one filtration. It would be best if you kept passing the pool water through the filter severally.

Also, as you do this, consider closing the pool until you filter all the water present in the pool. Ultraviolet pool sanitation systems are usually ideal in removing these harmful parasites. Conducting a pool shock also goes a long way in removing cryptosporidium.

Outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidium is the pathogen responsible for causing cryptosporidiosis. This harmful parasite is the leading cause of diarrhea connected to swimming pools. Although you can get cryptosporidiosis in other settings like farms, swimming in infected pools is common.

Preventing cryptosporidiosis

As public pool owners, it is essential to inform swimmers to avoid swimming if they have diarrhea. Also, swimmers should avoid swimming if they had diarrhea in the last 48 hours. Failure to do this would only lead to an increase in cryptosporidium in your pool. Advise them to come back when their symptoms stop for the safety of everyone.

Other safety measures you need to observe in the pool include:

  • Advise parents to take their children to the toilet before they start swimming. Also, parents should consider giving their children frequent toilet breaks to prevent them from contaminating the pool.
  • For small children, parents should use swimming diapers to prevent fecal leakages into the pool. Additionally, parents should wash their hands after changing the baby’s diapers. They should also dispose of their baby’s diapers appropriately.
  • As a public pool owner, it would be best to formulate a strategy for handling fecal accidents that occur in your swimming pool.

Note that cryptosporidium is more common in shallow pools. Thus, ensure you observe maximum hygiene if you have a shallow pool. You can also reduce the risk of contamination by making sure your pool contractor observes all pool construction guidelines.

Water Main Contimation

Water companies report that at times, cryptosporidium may get into the water without their knowledge. Therefore, they advise boiling water before use or using an effective disinfectant agent to sanitize the water. If you are a pool owner, use the right sanitizing chemicals to kill all microorganisms in the pool water. Nevertheless, ensure you get advice from your water supplier on how to sanitize your pool water.

According to a previous survey done in 2013, the most cryptosporidium-contaminated swimming pools in Arizona, New York, and California were baby pools. The local authorities of the respective areas ordered the closure of these swimming pools. The most common problems were inaccurate water chemistry, less safety equipment, and low chlorine levels when inspecting these swimming pools. Note that low chlorine levels and high pH are usually connected. So, your pool might be having low chlorine levels due to high pH. A good percentage of pools violated pool safety regulations. Even worse, some of these violations were not minor.

Associate Director for Healthy Water, Michael Beach, says that these results are incredibly concerning. He says that all pool professionals should do their best to protect the public. On the flip side, swimmers should ensure the pool receives regular pool inspections from time to time.

The bottom line

It is sad to know that many public pools are not passing health inspections. As a result, most public pools are not safe for swimmers. All pool owners should ensure their pools undergo a frequent pool inspection. This way, they’ll keep their pool in good condition. Swimmers, on the other hand, should confirm whether the public pool is free from contaminants. Additionally, they should practice maximum hygiene while swimming in the pool.

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Safety

2022 National Water Safety Conference

September 30th is your last chance to submit a presentation for the 2022 National Water Safety Conference

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NDPA - 2022 National Water Safety Conference

The 2022 National Water Safety Conference will take place April 11-14, 2022 in-person at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, TX and online at watersafetyconference.com.

This is your opportunity to view incredible speakers, live sessions, trainings, seminars, town hall meetings, and interactive Q&A sessions with actual professionals.

You’ll have the chance to connect with water safety suppliers, vendors, and Families United to Prevent Drowning members through the Virtual Exhibit Hall. Participate in the fun for a chance to win prizes and contests.

National Water Safety Conference - Presented by NDPA - National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Virtual Exhibitors:

Last Chance to Submit Presentations for 2022 National Water Safety Conference

Applications for conference speakers are due September 30, 2021. By October 15, 2021, the selected Speaker will be notified.

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Safety

Keeping Pools Safe from Electrical Hazards

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Keeping Pools Safe from Electrical Hazards

Keeping pools safe at all times consumes a lot of time and effort. Thus, if possible, consider hiring a professional to inspect your pool from time to time. In particular, hire a pool electrician expert to conduct a thorough annual inspection of the pool.

Pool Electrical
All pool equipment must be properly bonded and grounded.

All pool, spas and hot tub inspections are best performed by licensed and insured pool electricians. A reputable pool electrician will identify any problems with the plumbing system and overall pool. This way, they’ll ensure your pool is safe for use.

vice president of Safety, Security and Business Resiliency, Andrew Martinez

More often than not, only a licensed professional can identify faulty bonding, poorly installed junction boxes, among other safety hazards in the pool. Remember, pools can lead to severe electrocution. Therefore, hire a pool electrician to inspect the pool plumbing system from time to time, especially if your pool is old.

Problems in the pool’s electrical system

Martinez proceeds to say, “One of the most common problems in the pool plumbing system is faulty bonding. This is because very few homeowners are likely to identify the problem. Generally, pool contractors should install the bonding properly. Otherwise, it would get affected over time when pool owners start moving their equipment or make any other changes to the pool.

A reliable and professional pool contractor focuses on the main bonding system and ensures that all the bonding systems of additional water features get installed properly.

Keep in mind that faulty bonding can lead to severe electrocution. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, there have been over 30 pool and spa electrocution cases since 2002. As a result, the National Electrical Code requires that all pool owners incorporate ground fault protection in all their water features. This way, the pool would be a safer place.

Keeping pools safe

Keeping pools safe also entails replacing and fixing any faulty ground circuit interrupters. If you have an older pool, consider installing the interrupters again to maintain maximum safety. Ultimately, pool electrician experts report that proper grounding is important.

People often say that the best ground in a neighborhood is a pool. Thus, if you are the only one with a pool in your neighborhood, all the electricity gets diverted to your pool. Fortunately, this is not a problem. However, the plumbing systems should work properly and have the right voltage.

Before you start constructing a pool, ensure your local authorities inspect your site. This way, you’ll determine whether your pool area qualifies for construction. Typically, it would be best if you never built pools under electric cables. If you do so unknowingly or knowingly, contact the SCE’s local inspection agency. They will help you sort the issue. Failure to do so may lead to heavy penalties in the long run. In certain scenarios, your local authorities will demand a foreclosure of your pool if it poses a danger to human life.

Pool owners should never place any electrical devices near the pool. It would be best to maintain a distance of 20 to 30 feet from the pool when installing your electrical devices.

Practices to keeping pools safe from electrical hazards

Martinez says, “Luckily, pool owners can avoid all pool and spa accidents. One way to prevent pool electrocution is to hire a dependable pool contractor to install your pool equipment and plumbing system. Conducting DIY pool electrical projects is setting yourself up for disaster. Ensure that your pool electrician has a valid license and insurance cover. Also, pool owners should observe all safety measures when around the pool.”

Pool safety measures offered by SCE

  • The first safety measure is to avoid using led lights with high voltage. It is advisable to use 12 volts Led lights in your pool.
  • Do not put up string lights near or above a swimming pool. Otherwise, you would increase the risk of electrocution.
  • Avoid installing the pool near high-powered power lines. Also, your pool should not interfere with any underground cables.
  • When cleaning the pool, use equipment with long handles. Additionally, stay far from power lines.
  • Leave the pool immediately you notice something unusual. For example, if you feel a tingling sensation while swimming, get out of the pool.
  • It would be best to label all power switches. Doing this makes it easier to turn on and turn off power buttons.
  • In case of an accident by the pool, rescuers must not get into the pool when the power is still on.
  • Always hire a pool professional to conduct an annual inspection of the pool. They are in a better position to identify and fix all electrical problems in the pool.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is important to keep pools safe from electrical hazards. Thus, as a pool owner, it would be best to hire a professional to inspect your pool from time to time. Also, if you have an older pool, consider replacing the bonding systems.

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