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Making Splash Pads & Spray Parks Safe

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Making Splash Pads & Spray Parks Safe

The importance of discussing the safety of splash pads and spray parks couldn’t come at a more important time. After the recent news of a child being killed by a rare brain-eating amoeba he caught a spray park, parents are concerned. Many want to know what is being done to make splash pads and spray parks safe for their kids. While this latest tragedy may be front page news, the concern has been ongoing for a while and seems to elevate with each reported death. Experts say better education is needed on both the proper maintenace of these structures and the guidelines those that use them must follow.

While contracting a fatal disease from an organism like Naegleria fowleri is still pretty uncommon, contracting water borne diseases is not. An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred at Seneca Lake State Park in New York during the summer of 2005. Over 1,700 people may have been sickened, with 425 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1,374 probable cases reported. The water tanks that fed the 11,000 square foot spray pad were found to be contaminated with Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. As a result, New York implemented emergency public health regulations to oversee the design and sanitation of similar water features throughout the state and many other satellite states began to institute similar measures.

Prior to that outbreak, in 1999 a diarrheal outbreak impacted 44 percent of visitors (an estimated 4,800 individuals) to a new spray park / water fountain at a coastal park. When health department inspectors performed their investigation of the spray park, they discovered that the water drained from the play area into an underground reservoir for recirculation. The issue was discovered to be the result of insufficient chlorination and a lack of a filtration system. The chlorine tab feeder had been empty for weeks, and the designers had omitted adding a backup sanitizing system.

Spray park regulation has been slow as agencies try to set guidelines. Photo Credit: Parrish Pools

Health Agencies Slow To Regulate

Because splash pad areas and interactive spray parks are still in their early stages, health agencies have not yet quite figured out clear rules for how water at these facilities ought to be treated. All spray parks and splash pads must be been constructed to ensure that contaminants can be cleansed and filtered out of the water.

Tom Parrish of Parrish Pools in Maryland is a commercial pool builder specializing in the construction of splash pads and spray parks. “We build them to the highest standards with redundant sanitation systems,” said Parrish, “unfortunately some of these older spray parks aren’t equipped with a secondary sanitizing system and those older parks should have their equipment checked often.”

Parrish also indicated that even the best automation systems and sanitizing systems do not negate parents of their own responsibility. “When using a splash pad or spray park, caregivers and children should both follow the safety rules” said Parrish, “it’s absolutely vital to reinforce that their children do as well. It’s incumbent upon adults to make sure that best practices are being followed, this includes all the standard rules like not peeing or defecating in the water, showering before entering the play area, proper disposal of swim diapers and things of that nature.”

Cryptosporidium is something to be mindful of when it comes to small children interacting with spray parks & splash pads.
Cryptosporidium is something to be mindful of when it comes to small children interacting with spray parks & splash pads.

Disease Control in Spray Parks & Splash Pads

The prevention of disease is an important problem that is bigger than the U.S. World wide cases of crypto have been increasing. Finland is a country reknowned for it’s healthcare system yet reported 571 cryptosporidiosis cases in 2020, almost 30 times as high as the figure in 2010. It’s a problem that can not only cost lives, but can cost businesses, builders, and operators millions. That same crypto outbreak we mentioned that occured in Seneca Lake prompted a class action lawsuit against the state for millions of dollars after cryptosporidium was discovered in the park’s holding tanks.

What isCryptosporidium?

Crypto is a parasite that produces symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. It spreads through feces in the water and takes about a week to be killed by chlorine. As a result, New York now requires the use of wading pools or an ultraviolet disinfection system, health permits for parks that use recycled water, signs warning patrons with diarrhea to stay away from the area, and animal fencing.

Dealing With the Trichlor Shortage Head On

Using Chlorine is No Guarantee

The use of chlorine to treat recirculated water does not guarantee that it is bacteria-free. A child can crouch over a nozzle, or a parent can change a diaper and rinse the infant in the spray, infecting the newborn with recreational water illness. The contaminated water enters the sewers, is filtered, and then delivered to holding tanks, where the free chlorine rapidly changes. Chlorine feeders and controls must be tested on a regular basis. RWI can occur if there is no chlorine or if a fecal accident occurs. If the water is recirculated, it must be treated and the functioning equipment must be monitored to ensure safe water conditions.

Using Ultraviolet Systems Against Microorganisms in The Pool

Ultraviolet systems are quite effective against microorganisms like crypto. Manufacturers also advocate adding an ozone system to an existing sanitation system as an upgrade. To avoid RWIs, many spray parks use nonrecirculated potable water that is routed to wastewater treatment or used to irrigate the area.

Every facilitiy should engage a top pool builder in the design and installation of the water treatment system, as well as its operation and maintenance. Backwashing filters and cleaning strainer baskets for filters, pumps, and feature pumps can help to ensure water quality. Ultimately, spray parks need to be properly maintained, sanitized, and supervised in order to ensure they are safe.

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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 [email protected] your story idea.

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Pinch A Penny Title Sponsor of Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships

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Pinch A Penny Title Sponsor of Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships

CLEARWATER, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 4, 2022 / Pinch A Penny, the nation’s largest swimming pool retail and backyard services franchise, will be the presenting sponsor of the Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships.

The Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny will take place at the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart, FL. The Class 3A Championships will be held on Friday, November 4 and the 4A Championships will take place Saturday, November 5. The Class 1A Championships will be on November 11 and the 2A Championships will take place on November 12.

Pinch A Penny is the top pool supply store in the country, providing customers with best-in-class pool chemicals, equipment, repair parts, and accessories. In addition to pool supply retail, Pinch A Penny offers ongoing maintenance and repair services, like water testing and pool service, as well as pool renovations, pressure washing, landscape lighting and more.

Earlier this year, Pinch A Penny served as a sponsor for teams from Texas and Florida teams in the Special Olympics USA Games, where more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean competed across 19 sporting events. It was part of Pinch A Penny’s charitable giving program, Be the Splash, which is a long-time partner of the Special Olympics organization.

Florida High School Athletic Association - FHSAA

“Pinch A Penny is excited to extend its longtime partnership with the Florida High School Athletic Association by once again sponsoring the Swimming & Diving State Championships,” said Kendall Large, Pinch A Penny’s Vice President of Marketing. “Pinch A Penny has a tremendous presence across Florida, and we’re committed to supporting the communities we serve. We look forward to a great competition in Stuart over the next two weekends and wish all of the athletes the best of luck!”

For more information about Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny, please visit https://fhsaa.com/.

About Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa

Founded in 1975, Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa has grown from one store to nearly 270 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas. Pinch A Penny has developed a reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and expertise in pool care while offering the highest quality in products and supplies. These qualities have earned Pinch A Penny inclusion in top industry rankings, such as the 2021 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Business Review Top 200, Franchise Gator Top 100, and Franchise Times Top 200+, as well as Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises for Women and Top Franchises for Veterans. Additionally, Pinch A Penny was selected as the silver winner for Franchise Update’s prestigious STAR Award for Franchisee Satisfaction and named one of the Top 50 Recession-Proof Franchises by Franchise Business Review.

Taking a family approach to business, Pinch A Penny provides its customers, franchisees, and employees with all the necessary resources to carry on its tradition of quality, reliability, and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. The brand also provides customers a one-stop-shop for all their pool and spa supply needs with complete lines of pool chemicals, equipment, as well as maintenance parts and accessories.

For more information about Pinch A Penny, please visit https://pinchapenny.com/.

Media Contact:

Kevin Behan
(919) 459-3595
[email protected]

SOURCE: Pinch A Penny

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Pool Cleaner / Vampire Slayer – Day Shift on NetFlix

Just in time for Halloween, Day Shift features Jamie Foxx as an unlikely pool cleaner / vampire hunter.

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Pool Cleaner / Vampire Slayer - Day Shift on NetFlix

It’s very rare that a pool cleaner is the focus of a big-budget Hollywood film ($100 million budget). While Jamie Foxx is a versatile actor who has played every conceivable role imaginable, he probably never thought that someday he’d be playing a hard-on-his-luck pool guy.

Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night

In the Netflix horror film Day Shift, directed by former stuntman J.J. Perry in his directorial debut; Foxx’s character Bud Jablonski is a vampire slayer who is part of a union of hunters that operate behind the scenes keeping society free of the silent scourge of Nosferatu. As a pool cleaner by day, and vampire killer by night, Jablonski spends his time fighting the undead and uses the pool service job as a disguise to blend in. Whatever free time is left after that is spent fighting the occasional green pool.

Best known for his career as a rapper, Snoop Dogg teams up with Foxx for the comedy horror as Big John Elliot, a long-time friend, and legendary vampire hunter in his own right. When things go awry for Jablonski, Big John steps up to vouch for him with the union and help him settle the score.

Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night - Foxx Teams Up With Snoop Dogg in Day Shift - Netflix
Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night – Foxx Teams Up With Snoop Dogg in Day Shift – Netflix

Film critics so far are mixed on Day Shift, IMDB has it rated at 6.1 while a 56% Rotten Tomatoes score gives it a slightly similar rating. All in all, critics were pretty brutal while viewer scores tended to trend higher. I watched the film myself and I can tell you that although there were some entertaining moments, this is the type of popcorn flick that you probably won’t remember 10 minutes after you watch it. There’s not a lot of world-building or character development going on in Day Shift. The action scenes were fun to watch but after a while, your brain starts searching for a rationalization for why in the world this movie was trending. For what it is, Day Shift is a fun little horror flick that will appeal to fans of the genre but certainly won’t rival any past success Foxx has seen at the box office.

Pool cleaner / Vampire Hunter - Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx plays an out-on-his-luck pool cleaner in the new horror film – Day Shift (2022) – Netflix

All in all the pool cleaner / Van Helsing shtick gets old almost immediately and is underplayed throughout the remainder of the film. Honestly, I feel like the movie may be a miss with pool pros as well. The image of Foxx cruising around town in an old dilapidated pool truck is a tired cliché we’ve seen played out again and again. We’re eager to discuss movies with pools and pool cleaning professionals on the silver screen. Unfortunately, this isn’t the breakout moment the industry has been waiting for. I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you should put this one on your Halloween movie list. While I’m a fan of pool cleaners and certainly a big fan of horror movies in general, this one probably won’t get a rewatch from me anytime soon.

Featured Photo Credit: Netflix

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Fish Killed By Chlorinated Pool Water

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Fish Killed By Chlorinated Pool Water

Officials say water from a chlorinated swimming pool made its way into the storm drains in Arlington County, Virginia, killing about a hundred fish last week.

The dead fish were found in a creek located in Four Mile Run between South Walter Reed Drive and South Taylor Street, and according to a tweet posted by the Arlington Department of Environmental Services on Monday, investigators have determined that “flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow” are to blame.

Department spokesman Peter Golkin said that the investigation led them to a multi-family housing complex where large amounts of chlorine were added to the pool during the off-season. “Investigators say flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow led to last week’s fish kill in Four Mile Run,” Golkin told news sources. Both the pool care company and the property management firm have been contacted by the county.

Golkin said an unpleasant “chemical smell” had been detected near a storm drain, suggesting that “would indicate that someone probably poured something not good down there.”

“The owners and their pool service people have been very cooperative with the investigation and in making follow-up improvements so such an incident isn’t repeated,” said Golkin.

He noted that the stream had been cleared by recent rains, but warned that the area’s lack of filters in the storm drains meant that toxic substances could still be harmful to local wildlife.

“Please be careful,” explained Golkin, “All sorts of daily issues, from yard waste falling into curb gutters to pet waste left unbagged to home car-washing and pool maintenance, can add up to a serious collective problem for the watershed.”

“Swimming pool and spa water can have devastating effects on the health of our streams if not disposed of properly,” the Department of Environmental Services says on its website. “The chlorine, bromine, algaecides, cleaning chemicals and low oxygen levels can kill fish and other aquatic life in streams.”

Many cities and municipalities have regulations regarding pumping pool water into storm drains and sewer systems

“Only freshwater that is dechlorinated, pH neutral, chemical-free and clean may be slowly discharged into the storm drain system,” the department claims. Otherwise, the water must go into the sewer system.

Golkin said that the county’s regulations regarding pool drainage are “especially timely as this is prime season for closing out pools for the year.”

Additional regulations from Arlington County, VA:

Chapter 26-7 makes it unlawful for any person to discharge directly or indirectly into the storm sewer system or state waters.

ARLINGTONVA.US

If pool or spa water is to be released over-land, the release should be:

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