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Is there any better feeling than mowing the lawn on a scorching hot day and then dive bombing into a cool, crisp swimming pool? Or, perhaps after an hour of drylands? It’s awesome. But, it is not awesome for your swimming pool. 

There’s been plenty of talk recently surrounding the poor air quality at large meets, specifically Junior Nationals. The simplest, most effective way to obtain better air quality in pools is to have people shower before swimming. And, stop peeing in the pool.

USA is absolutely the worst when it comes to showering before entering a swimming pool. While visiting pools in Iceland, I noticed they had large signs about showering (with soap) in the locker room before coming out onto the pool deck. Also, they had an employee at the entrance/exit of their pools. Their job was simple: if someone was coming out to jump in the pool and they weren’t already soaking wet, then they were told to go back and scrub up…WITH SOAP! 

A complete culture change is needed.

Bad air quality comes from organic materials. I’m not going to go into the science behind sweat, makeup, hair gel, and all the harmful disinfectant by-products (DBP’s) they create. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that 50 sweaty kids jumping into your pool after a hot dryland session is gross and has detrimental effects to pool chemistry.

Surveys suggest that only 40% of people shower before swimming. I’ve got no research to back it up but I’m fairly certain 40% is about 40% too high. Just yesterday afternoon I watched 100 high school swimmers jump into our local rec center pool. Zero of them showered. 

Showering prior to swimming can save significant money on pool chemicals. Some folks suggest anywhere from 25-50%. Aquatics directors and swim coaches that implement a simple showering policy will love the benefits… 

Save money on chemicals? Check.
Better air quality in pools? Check.
Less gross? Double Check.

 

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