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Thread: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tragedy

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    gtemkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Seattle, WA

    Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tragedy

    Lots of factors here, but proper water balance was one.

    Hope this link works. I have a subscription to the Seattle Times so I don't know if it'll work for you, but I think they allow viewing up to 10 articles for free for new users.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East Texas

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    #1.........Who in their right mind would have been in there in the first place?

    #2.......Give the history, I predict a lawsuit.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    North Georgia

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    That whole situation is just plain ridiculous!
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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    SpringHill FL

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    Thats just bull**** I cant believe the pool was allowed to be used in that condition by hotel staff!!!
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    Similar to one in, I think, boston a year or so ago. i think they went days with a body in the pool and did not know it. Tragic.
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    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Richmond, Texas

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    I was at a hotel in Omaha, Ne in Feb. and the indoor pool was super cloudy and kids and adults were swimming in it. I just shook my head in disbelief that they allowed folks to swim in it and folks were actually going in the water. Yuck.
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    john redcorn's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    B.A. Okla.

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    So...not to be too morbid but what's commercial-pool SOP here? Shock + correct the balance or drain and refill? Would water-cost or the drowning of a similar-weight deer or wild hog change your answer any? I've been here a month and I know you all are anti-drain and love a chemistry challenge. But does superstition, gross-factor, respect for the human-dead play a part/trump that in any way?

    I see some of you all posting about dead squirrels in pools, my wife would surely make me drain (probably then scrub walls with bleach) + refill for a dead half pound squirrel. (unless I saw it first and quickly got rid of it)
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    Commercial/public pools, if they follow typical standards, replace 7 gallons of water for every bather (technically, it should be every bather-hour, but the standards say per bather). Water replacement from backwashing sand filters counts toward this amount.

    The pools count on water dilution plus filtration to keep the water clear. The chlorine is there as well to provide oxidation and, of course, disinfection. Higher bather load pools often have some form of supplemental oxidation to help with bather waste, be it non-chlorine shock (MPS) or ozone. UV systems are sometimes used, but usually indoors to help with chloramines. Mostly though, it's about filtration.

    The biggest problem is that the more recent pools use horizontal rapid-rate sand filters and these don't filter smaller particles as well and can't be used effectively with coagulants (clarifiers). In Europe, vertical and slower rate sand filters are used along with coagulants to keep the water clear, but also to remove organic precursors to reduce chlorine disinfection by-products.

    Then, of course, some of the commercial/public pools use Trichlor and have problems with higher CYA and since they don't understand the chlorine/CYA relationship they can get the active chlorine level too low so that bather waste builds up and algae can also grow. This particular pool in the link you gave was indoors so less likely to use CYA, though some pools still do. For Washington state where this pool was located, this link and this link show no CYA restrictions for indoor pools. However, since this pool was written up for no chlorine just a month earlier, this sounds more like not properly maintaining the chlorine level.

    Hotel pools are probably in worse shape than larger public pools due to not having as many trained people to manage the pool. For many hotels, the pool is just one small part of the hotel's amenities and isn't properly maintained. There aren't enough inspectors to keep an eye on such pools.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Sad example of how improper water balance can end in tra

    And, of course, commercial pools must be closed to swimmers unless you can clearly see the bottom of the pool.
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