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Thread: Saltwater Pools & Stone/Landscape Damage - It's the Weather?

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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Saltwater Pools & Stone/Landscape Damage - It's the Weather?

    I don't know if there's any interest in continuing this discussion (civilly of course) that started in the infamous "Ever know of anyone who doesn't like a SWCG pool?". If so, let's have at it.

    Here's the discussion so far:

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtV
    One thought on regional differences as regards possible stone and landscape damage caused by salt. The amount of rainfall may be a factor here. Dallas, where I think TPG hails from, gets somewhere around 33 inches of rain a year. The Gulf Coast, on the other hand, gets about twice that much rain. The use of softer stone in the Dallas area (if that's true) along with relatively low rainfall (though 30+ inches of rain is hardly arid) and high heat may result in more problems there than in some other areas. Likewise, potential salt damage to plants must be ameliorated by lots of rainfall flushing the salt away.
    Quote Originally Posted by Waterbear
    Florida is a bit unique in climate since in the winter it's actually considered to be high desert (This information came from an Everglades Park Ranger who did educational presentations on Florida's ecosystem) and we get practically NO rain and in the summer we get a lot of rain almost daily. Yet there have not been reports of damage to stonework here in FL that I have ever heard about nor does there seem to be a lot of salt damage to plants in the winter (and in most parts of the state pools are open year round and in use. I live in the extreme northern part of the state and have about a 10 month swim season with the use of my heatpump.

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtV
    According to this website Jacksonville gets 3.3, 2.35, 2.45, 3.39, and 2.59 inches of rain in October, November, December, January, and February respectively. Miami is 4.53, 3.32, 1.98, 2.44, and 2.14 over the same months. Pensacola is much wetter than either of those in the winter. Dallas, on the other hand, has similar rainfall in the winter but is much drier in the summer.

    Ft. Meyers, which is closer to the area your park ranger is probably speaking of, does look a bit drier in the winter than the Atlantic and northern Gulf Coasts.

    It's just a top-of-the-head theory, but I think these rainfall figures bolster rather than buck it.

    Edit: Arizona is much, much drier than Dallas. I wonder if builders and owners are seeing the same kind of damage there on salt pools that TPG and others have noticed in Dallas.
    Quote Originally Posted by thepoolguy
    KurtV: I think you're on to something. Arizona is having the same problems we're experiencing here in TX. Look at the 2 articles in Pool & Spa News; "Questions Arise About Salt Cholrine Generators" & "Coping With Salt" and most of the builders who have significant stone damage are in those two regions. I think another contributing factor is winter freezes. Here in TX, and I bet in AZ, we don't shut our pools down. We just let the freeze guard kick the pumps on. That includes the water feature pumps. And even if the water features are just a line off the main pump, we at least open them part way so the line won't freeze. That allows the water to aerate, settle on the stone, begin to soak in and then freeze and shatter the stone from the inside out. Your point about the rainfall slacking off in the summer here and in AZ would allow that splash out from pool use to soak in undisturbed and undilluted by rain, build up and reach that recrystallization point. Then, in the areas of the country where they don't get too many freezes and get lots of summer rain, they'd see a lot less of that kind of damage. Then, too, in the north, where they winterize their pools, they wouldn't suffer the splash out problems we do in winter, and they would more than likely get more summer rain than Texas or Arizona.

    Your theory may just prove to be the answer to why it is a regional issue. Kudos!
    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    This website has interesting information about various types of stones. Their bead test for water absorption has a scale that is measured in seconds which is inconsistent with what I've been told from other stone people who consider medium absorption in minutes, but it's still a useful guide to a variety of stone types and typical pros/cons (though nothing about salt so not of direct use here).

    This website shows the annual evaporation rate in different areas of the country. This website shows annual precipitation, though precipitation in the summer is what is most relevant since that is when the evaporation rates are highest. This website (do a "Quick Search" of "Lower 48 States" "Precipitation" click Continue and select "Mean Total Precipitation" and click Continue) shows not only the annual, but the monthly precipitation (historical) in a map of the U.S.

    I would expect that areas with the highest evaporation combined with the lowest summer rainfall would be most at risk to salt/stone issues. Combine that with softer (more absorbant) stones and perhaps we will see a trend here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Good point Kurt. The amount of rainfall will help rinse off salt residue and probably extends stone life moreso than other locations. I do agree with Waterbear too. I have not been involved with any corrosion, deck or stone issues that could have been contributed to salt. I've responded many times that I think we're blessed to live in a state that does get frequent rainfalls and perhaps that's why less or no problems in Florida, or other locations with similar weather patterns.

    There have been some reports of similar type damage to limestone in Arizona too. I was up in Spokane, WA and a dealer up there had problems with aluminum automatic pool cover rails being affected by salt pools.
    Palm Desert, similar conditions to Arizona, where they're also using flagstone/limestone, are not indicating any problems with salt systems.
    That's why I try to point out that this is more product specific and can vary from location to location, and really dependent on the quality of the particular stone. It's not easy to single out specific products and say, "avoid using _____ with salt systems". If I say you can use marble, but there's a cheap version of stone that can still be "considered marble", who do you hold accountable when it crumbles? I know there's flagstone used throughout Florida that are not having problems. NONE at all.
    How do I make a blanket statement that flagstone cannot be used? Or do you want manufacturers to state, "Flagstone cannot be used in ZZZZ city, if mined from XXX quarry"...
    or "Do not use handrails of XXX grade stainless steel made by YYYYY, because of possible corrosion".
    or "UPDATE...you can now use flagstone from AAAA as they have changed their supplier and is now acceptable for use."

    Does this sound even remotely reasonable?

    Can you imagine Ford posting every imaginable warning in the owners manual that you SHOULDN'T DO with their vehicles?
    "DO NOT drive in rapidly moving water in Central Texas while it is raining EVERYDAY the last two months"
    "DO NOT race Chevys....you'll get your doors blown off!"
    Who would ever buy a Ford?
    Quote Originally Posted by thepoolguy
    If you look at a list of the ten rainiest cities in the US, it makes an arc from Louisiana to Florida, mostly along or near the coast. That explains why you Southeast and Gulf Coast folks keep saying things about never seeing damage to sea walls and such and I remember the craggy, salt weathered seawalls of rain deprived Southern California and was wondering what you were all talking about. Boy, the more you think about it, the more sense this thing makes.

    Now the only salt issues left to worry about are metal corrosion and the environmental impacts.

    Progess!

    One thing that really troubles me, though. I can't believe that PoolSean and ThePoolGuy are both Chevy men.

    A deeply troubling development.

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    IF you read the newest entry into the PoolGuy's blog he's run with this and made it into another reason to not have a salt pool but his arguement doesn't hold water (so to speak). He talks about pools with tile line drains and the problem with keeping salt and CYA in them during rainy season. Seems to me more of an argument against tile line drains than SWGs.

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    Well, the extra water has to go somewhere, doesn't it? Whether you have an overflow, or a negative edge, or you to drain the excess water manually, it has to come out of the pool and take some of the salt with it.

    My only problems with TPG's blog post is that I think he's overhyping the environmental stuff and at least one of his arguments falls apart if you give it a little thought. He talks about all that salt coming out of the pools because of the heavy rain and what it will do to the plants but ignores the fact that that heavy rain will also dilute and rinse away almost all that salt.

    Beyond that, I live in one of those wettest cities (near New Orleans) and only rarely do I over flow my pool. The rains don't typically come like they've come in Texas this year (except in tropical storms and hurricanes) and evaporation usually offsets the rain pretty well. In fact, In the spring and fall I usually have to add tap water to the pool.

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    WE get a LOT of rain here in FL and waterline drains are not a common feature in pools at all. Evaporation is more of a problem, perhaps from the sun down here. Our rainy season is summer and even with the rain pool need to be topped off all the time!

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    This thread's already off course. But since we've careened over here into "where does the salt go?", let's go ahead and talk about that, too.

    Kurt, you're right. The water has to go somewhere. It does go somewhere. You're right that the rain dillutes it, too. But it just goes into the ground.

    Look at this:

    http://www.watertechonline.com/news.asp?N_ID=67705

    Pflugerville, Texas is asking residents to adjust their water softeners to discharge less salt because their wastewater is too saline.

    Or this:

    http://poolcenter.idealbb.net/idealbb/v ... picID=4437

    A woman near the Columbia River has to dig a dry well to get permitted for her salt pool.

    Or this:

    http://ww.pennnet.com/articles/article_ ... 20ban&p=41

    An article in an industrial waste journal reporting that the Santa Clarita salt ban is keeping 125 lbs a day from salt pools being dumped into the Santa Clara River.

    Or this:

    http://www.watertechonline.com/news.asp ... N_ID=67097

    Where the golf courses in Scottsdale, AZ are complaining because they use waste water to irrigate and over the last few years the saline level has risen and risen.

    Or this:

    http://tracypress.com/content/view/9052/2/

    Where the town of Tracy, CA had problems getting permitted to discharge their treated waste into the Old River because the saline level in the river was already too high.

    Or this:

    http://www.watertechonline.com/news.asp ... N_ID=66916

    An article about the State of California enacting a recommendation that encourages their nine California Water Quality Control Boards to ban all discharges of saline to groundwater or waste water.

    These are all REAL THINGS that are happening all around us every day, more and more each day. You see, there's no provisions in waste water treatment for desalinization. Unless you want to pay for more infrastructure to create desalinization capability in every waste treatment plant. But everybody just wants slky soft water and no red eyes.

    Last year, no one was talking about these things. This year, a few of us are. Next year, everybody will be.

    Mark my words, it'll be the environmental issues that'll bury salt systems. Another Inconvenient Truth.
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    TPG,
    I think you've gone a bridge too far. You're overstating the environmental case against salt pools. The article on the Santa Clara ban contained this tidbit: "Swimming pools contribute about 125 pounds of salt per day, or about half of a percent of the chloride now entering the sewer system." One half of one percent? I have serious difficulty believing that that's going to be disastrous for (or even mildly harmful to) the environment. Even if that number rose by a factor of ten.

    The water softener issue is very different. Softeners discharge salt by design while with SWGs salt discharge, excepting backwashing, is generally an unintended side effect that, barring extraordinary weather events like you've seen in Texas this year, is pretty rare. Yes, backwashing sand and DE filters discharges some salt water but for me that's only six or eight times a year and only a couple hundred gallons each time. If I'm understating the effects that accrue from backwashing, using cartridge filters completely eliminates that problem (I think some communities have banned sand and DE filters already though I don't know if it was because of salt or DE or something else).

    So far, all the environmental stuff you've presented has been anecdotal and/or only peripherally related to SWG-equipped pools. There's also a lot of anecdotal evidence on the other side like the poster you make fun of on your blog for saying that his garden that gets the most salt water is the best growing one.

    You might have a case here but I don't see much science backing it up yet.

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    Have you considered why the freshwater aquafers, lakes, and rivers are becoming more salty? It's minimally from salt water intrusion from discharge water from water softeners, swg, or similar. It's PRIMARILY from drought conditions that are allowing seawater to infiltrate the aquafers and rivers, because rainwater is not helping to replenish the freshwater supplies quick enough. http://www.wqa.org/index.cfm?id=977
    It's food processing plants (REALLY! read on)
    The restrictions of salt water draining is to reduce the amount of salt that can end up at water treatment stations needing to be treated before dumping it back to the Santa Clarita River, or being used for recycled water irrigation...what I don't understand about this one is there are no complaints about having to treat runoff from phosphates, nitrogen, potash, and other GOOD stuff from golf course fertilization?

    If you consider your recent blog TPG, you're using total annual rainfall examples but don't consider that when this is spread out over the rainy season (unlike the drenching you're getting lately), the amount of average rainfall probably doesn't add as much as is evaporated and backwashed so there's actually less drain off from the rainfall than you're implying. This helps maintain the salt level to be fairly constant, rather than needing copious amounts of salt and cya additions (as your blog entry implies). I'm not saying that you're not having to haul a bunch of salt and cya around this year, good lord with the rainfall you're getting, I know that's what you're having to do.
    But I now realize how you "seem" to have more time to be active here on TFP!

    Regarding Santa Clarita, this is what their site states about why they are banning salt, rather than building a desalinization system and treating the water (found in their FAQ section):
    ******************************************
    Why is chloride bad for water?
    Too much chloride in water can damage agricultural crops by causing leaf burn or drying of leaf tissue. It also can harm aquatic life if present at levels of 230 milligrams per liter (parts per million) for sustained periods.

    Why is it necessary to reduce chloride levels in the Santa Clara River?
    The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) has set a water quality objective of 100 milligrams per liter for the Santa Clara River. Regional Board officials believe that this objective is necessary to protect salt sensitive agricultural crops, such as avocados and strawberries. Currently the concentration of chloride being discharged to the river is consistently above the acceptable level established by the Regional Board.
    ****************************************************
    THE REGIONAL BOARD OFFICIALS BELIEVE THAT THIS OBJECTIVE IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT SALT SENSIIVE AGRICULTURAL CROPS, SUCH AS AVOCADOS AND STRAWBERRIES!!?????? Did I read this correctly TPG? OK, sorry for my insensitivity to avocados and strawberries. These are major crops for the US. Then it goes on to say, currently the concentration...is consistently above the acceptable level. So since 2005, when they enacted this ban, what has been the negative changes or damage to avocados and strawberries?

    Interesting read from 2006, from Ventura County about Santa Clarita, claiming they are WAY overstating the cost involved to treat the chloride situation, and that they should just do it. It's not a $350 million dollar project, it's estimated in this article to be about $50M! Read some of the other links; Pflugerville's RO system is estimated at $15M and Scottsdale is estimated at $25M. So, Santa Clarita is estimating $350 million dollars?!
    http://www.ojaipost.com/2006/07/la_sani ... tinu.shtml
    Seems like Santa Clarita has been trying this water softener salt ban for quite a while, with opposition.
    http://www.wqa.org/index.cfm?id=977

    Regarding Arizona irrigation, did you read the http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/86974 link?
    ***************************
    "Art Nunez, water and wastewater treatment director at the water campus, said rising salt content of the irrigation water can be attributed to Scottsdale’s increased use of Colorado River water over the last two decades, and to the proliferation of water softeners in the city’s north.

    The river water has a higher salt content than the groundwater the city previously relied upon, raising the baseline level of salt in the city’s supply, Nunez said. At this point, though, the level of salt contributed by the river water has probably peaked, he said.

    “It’s not a health concern,” he said. "
    ****************************
    But yet, salt chlorine generators are to blame?

    Where did the City of Tracy get the high salinity from?
    *********************************************
    "The city could also eliminate sewage sources that add salt, most notably Leprino Foods, which makes cheese at its plant on the corner of Grant Line Road and MacArthur Drive. The board suggests the city and Leprino find somewhere else to send about 850,000 gallons of sewage every day, or at least remove the salt before the wastewater goes to Tracy’s treatment plant."
    *************************************************
    ALL YOU FREEKIN CHEEZE EATERS! Let's ban cheese! 8)

    Finally, regarding the California State Water Quality Control Board's ban on all discharges of saline to gound water,
    *****************************************************
    "WQA takes the position that water softeners are not significant contributors to salinity problems, that the public wants and needs home softeners, and that there are more cost-efficient ways to address salinity issues, such as central wastewater treatment, than softener bans."
    *********************************************************
    WQA (Water Quality Association) is the board that the California SWQCB was asking for approval to enact the ban. Their opinion was that water softeners were NOT a significant contributor to salinity problems. Yet, if Santa Clarita is stating that water softerners are a huge problem, and that other sources of salt (human wastes, laundry detergents, salt systems, bleach, etc) should also be banned, it makes you wonder if Santa Clarita really in the know?

    Then you read about Australia, how 90% + of all pools are on salt systems, and how the ground water has high salinity levels. One + one = three, right? and salt chlorine generators are to blame. Wrong. It's the drought conditions.

    TPG, salt may cause an impact on the environment and on salt intolerant vegitation, but the blame is in the wrong place...once again.

    Actually, not to cause ANOTHER disgreement, I actually drive an Expedition, my wife drives a Mercury Monterrey, and I don't have a Chevy. 8)

    There. **** just thawed back out.
    But I did rinse off any salt residue before the freeze/thaw cycle.
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    First, I'm not shocked that Sean's not sensitive to strawberries and avocado crops. And as this is a pool forum, I don't expect to find a lot of other people who are, either. However, if this were an agricultural forum, you can bet your bottom dollar that they would be concerned about the damage of increasingly saline irrigation water. Agriculture brings a few dollars more into the State of California than salt systems do. So, gee, I wonder whose going to win up in Sacramento? Would anyone like to give me odds?

    And Kurt, it's not that pools are this huge contributor right now, but as they proliforate, and as the salinity issues that Sean's talking about - which he stated very well, by the way - continue to worsen, the regulators are going to start looking around for frivolous, unnecessary sources of saline introduction into wastewater and groundwater, and there's none more frivolous than a salt pool. If "Save The Strawberries and Avocados!" is competing with "No More Green Hair!" guess who's going to win?

    You're all looking at this environmental thing from the wrong end of the telescope. You keep pointing and saying that salt pools didn't do this and salt pools didn't do that. And that's not the point. Sean said it best. "Let's ban cheese!" If folks are asked to give up cheese or vote to ban your salt pool, they're going to legislate your salt pool right out of existence. Do you really think they're going to shut down food processing facilities before they shut down the salt mfg's?

    Rich guys in golf carts in places like Scottsdale are going to kick the stuffings out of the salt industry, because they didn't bust their butts all their lives and amass all that wealth to end up putting on brown "greens". They could care less about salt pools and they'll ban your salt chlorine generator technology faster than you can ask, "mind if we play through?"

    Sean's right that Art Nunez said that the higher salinity is primarily due to salt based water softeners. And only about 20 million homes across the nation have them. So, how small a percentage is that to have driven the salinity levels to where it's wreaking havoc on the waste water salinity levels in the Colorado River? What if every home had one? Then, what if every home had a salt pool? And even with a cartridge filter, you still have to drain and refill that pool every so often, even if only to replaster it. What are going to do? Tell everybody to drink their pools?

    Sean is right, too, about the drought conditions allowing sea water to infiltrate the aquifers. I just read last night that it's even happening in his beloved Florida. So, I have a Great Idea. Since the ground water is getting more and more brackish, let's add more and more salt pools so that it'll get even more brackish from their discharge! Every time he points out another way that our deteriorating environment isn't the fault of salt pools, he's still pointing out another problem caused by salt in general that would be muted if we would just do away with these wholly unnescessary salt systems.

    I remember when I first started in the pool service business, I asked an Old Hand what was the most important thing I could do to keep my customers happy, and he said, "It's not the one thing you do. It's the hundred things you do. It's every little thing you do."

    Saline pollution is the same. It's not the one thing you do that pollutes the water; it's the 100 things you do. And when you look on the hit list of things you can get rid of to lower that pollution, I promise you guys, salt systems are just a nose behind salt based water softeners. They're already pushing people toward non-salt water softeners, and once that technology is mauture, salt based water softeners will be a thing of the past. When they shine the light they're currently on water softeners onto salt pools - and Santa Clarita is the beginning of that - the first thing they're going to ask is, "well, is there any other way you folks can sanitize your pools? There is? Oh, gosh. Well then, just do that", and that will be that.

    Until then, we'll all have to listen to Sean tell us how the world as we know it will cease to exist if he's not allowed to sell salt systems. But in the end, it will come to pass.

    And, by the way, my blog doesn't "imply" that I've added a lot of salt because of the rain. It declares it. And Sean can sit at his little desk and conjure up excuses and constructs for why what's happening in the real world outside the arena of sales and marketing really isn't happening. But it is. BrettC said the same thing it in his posts on the other thread; that he was adding tons of salt and hadn't been able to get to the part of enjoying the less expensive part of salt pool ownership.

    That's because it's an illusion.

    So, when are we going to talk about stone?
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    I know this isn't about stone, but I was going to post this when the previous thread was locked:

    When I was talking to the corrosion guys at a couple of universities and described the SWG setup, they both said "why not have the SWG put a small negative voltage on the bonding wire" since that would reduce corrosion of all metal connected to the bonding wire (and to the bonding wire itself) considerably. I pointed out that the whole point of the bonding wire was to equalize (and now, at least in some states, to ground) voltages to prevent shocking, but it is true that a low voltage or for those most concerned with shocking, a voltage with a current limiter (for safety) should work. That's essentially what is done when one adds a sacrificial anode, such as a zinc block. In fact, my pool builder said that corrosion they saw with automatic pool cover leading edge poles that were dipped in the water (for "vanishing" covers) is being solved with zinc blocks electrically connected to these poles (and therefore probably to the entire bonding wire system). [EDIT] It was actually magnesium blocks protecting aluminum leader poles, but my PB just generically called them zinc blocks. [END-EDIT]

    It just points out interesting considerations and side effects when one thinks one solves one problem (shock risk, so bond all metal together) to create another (corrosion, by adding electrical paths between dissimilar metals). But using this common connection as a good thing to impart a small negative voltage to it to inhibit corrosion from all electrochemical processes makes sense, regardless of a salt pool or not.

    OK, you can go back to stone now...

    Richard
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    Richard,
    I had forgotten about those systems but we used them on a ship I once served in. It was more effective than zincs (sacrificial anodes), but you had to make absolutely sure it was functioning right at all times or the hull and other metals would corrode away very rapidly.

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    A dumb question, but isnt North America going to be using Desalination soon over the lack of fresh water?

    SWG's, Water Softeners, they add saline to water supplies, but to me it seems like these water plants are just gripping about having to do yet one more step to insure us good quality water.

    I guess I am kinda backward about salt, the Atlantic Ocean is 5 minutes from my backyard...are we to build blocks so that this water never enters our aquafers...or god forbid....what does Atlantic Salmon do to the water, surely they are the culprits, bringing all that salt on their bodies when they return up rivers?


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    It looks like the "To SCG or Not to SCG" thread got locked due to a lack of civility (personal attacks or snide remarks). I certainly hope we remain civil here in this thread.

    Desalination is still a very expensive process though improvements are continually being made to make them more efficient (specialized membranes, etc.), but there is a theoretical limit to how much energy (work) it takes to remove salt from water with each type of process and there's not going to be anything to avoid that unless we find some magical substance that attracts and precipitates salt (ion exchange resins can substitute ions, but don't just remove salt completely).

    I think the issue of whether salt in pools is a problem for the waste water systems is a regional issue so regulations are likely to be regional as well. A simple change to requiring the use of cartridge filters instead of sand (or DE) to save water by not backwashing would significantly reduce the problem (and where I live such restrictions are in place already, not for salt issues, but to reduce water consumption). In regions with high summer rainfall and potential spillover of pool water, requiring a pool cover with a small pump on top would work (I'm talking about pool covers that go above the water on the edges, such as automatic electric safety covers). Basically, if the requirement is not to add too much salt water to a municipal system, there are creative ways to avoid that without restricting salt pools completely and some of these methods would save water overall as an additional benefit.

    I am sorry to see that these SWG discussions get so polarized. It is entirely possible for both points of view to be right since they are not mutually exclusive. Both chlorine and salt have corrosive properties to different degrees depending on the type of material. I am sure that there is a set of materials (stone, metal, etc.) that would degrade very quickly even in a low-salt (< 500 ppm) pool and another set of materials that would degrade very slowly even in an SWG-salt pool (3000 ppm) and that such degradation would also be dependent on the environment in some cases (such as summer rains). The main issue is in that middle area of materials that degrade slow enough in a low-salt pool to not be considered a problem, but degrade fast enough in an SWG-salt pool to be of concern. Though one way of handling this is to ban salt pools, another way is to understand this set of intermediate materials and either not to use them or to do other activities to mitigate the problem (e.g. sealing, rinsing, apply voltage).

    If the parties on both sides each focussed on this reality, then perhaps we could get better information or develop tests and procedures to let PBs and consumers make informed decisions. The specifics of what recommendation is best -- to not use a salt pool or to use one with specific materials or procedures, is a policy decision and people can choose to disagree about that, but the facts are not something to disagree about. I appreciate that TPG has brought up this general issue in his blog and though I disagree on whether his style is the most effective, I am glad that the information is being shared. I appreciate PoolSean bringing up other factors and what is seen in other areas. I appreciate many SWG users and PBs who have shared their experiences, both positive and negative. So please, let's not get personal about this and not try and be lawyers in a case with each side only presenting the subset of evidence that is most beneficial to obtaining the verdict that they want. Let's leave the policy issues aside and try and get more specific on the facts first.

    Thanks,
    Richard
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    ktdave's Avatar
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    Well said Richard, I couldn't agree more!
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    TarheelPool's Avatar
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    After following the threads I couldn't agree more that there is factual value on both sides. I would like to see the discussion continue without the heated tailspin that has occurred in the two previous discussions. Richard makes a good point; the information loses its credibility when its buried in a personal attack (that comment is meant for more than one).

    Chem Geek for President!!!

    Kevin
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    In the Industry

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    The way I feel about it is to, first, admit that when it comes to Sean, it's so far been impossible for me to let him slide. I think he would say the same thing about me. All either of us have to do is comment on the other's posts, and our blood is up. This isn't an excuse. It's the Way Things Are.

    I could go on and on about how I got to feeling the way that I feel about salt, but that's not going to solve anything and all it's going to do is provide more opportunity for criticism.

    But I will say this: I'm the one that got you all talking about the downsides of salt. And not just here in this forum. In this industry. The problems were happening, and everybody was wondering what was going on, but no one wanted to be the first to come out and say, "it's the salt". So, hate me, laugh at me, call me crazy, say I go overboard. But you can't say I didn't point out a real and pervasive problem and point the discussion in the direction that's born much fruit.

    On that note, I'll say goodbye and go back to my blog. In parting, I want to impart the only constant I've learned in 25 years in this business: pool sales reps will say anything to sell thier product. This is, after all, the Pool Biz. When you've owned your pool long enough, you'll understand the truth of that statement.
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    happy thoughts happy thoughts

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycanuck
    someone always has to have the last slavo.
    You might want to think about rephrasing that. TPG was very polite in that post, which is the one limitation SeanB asked of us.
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  19. Back To Top    #19
    TarheelPool's Avatar
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    Well, it's a shame the discussion could not continue objectively with parties from both sides involved. I've been around the forums long enough to have a great deal of respect for Sean and I also respected TPG's position as well. I could never really buy into the fact that TPG had some great ulterior motive for his negative feelings toward salt.

    I did catch myself waiting for some of the more neutral pros to weigh in on the points expressed by the polarized views of Sean, TPG, and others.

    The bottom line is if there is something to the salt thing, we should be objective enough to be able to investigate it and discuss it here. If there isn't, then we should be able to arrive at that conclusion as well without bias. IMO, it's more likely that the answer is somewhere in the middle.

    Kevin
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  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I believe there is something to it, but something fairly small that is managable. There is fairly solid evidence that lower grade stainless steel can handle pool water without salt for several years and can't with salt. Simiarly, there seem to be kinds of stone that fail noticably more quickly with salt than without.

    The big problem I see is that no one is steping up to make lists of safe and/or at risk materials. So unless you are a large pool builder that can evaluate results across thousands of your own pools there isn't any good source of information on what materials to avoid for salt pools. Without a reputable source of information things get complicated. Stonework damage can run up numbers like $50,000 in some cases and when that happens everyone wants to blame someone else and gets really emotional about it. Sorting out the actual causes is complex at best, and impossible in some cases. Without more basic research into stone wear in different enviorments many of the important questions can't yet be answered.

    Likewise, it would be silly to say that there aren't any enviornmental impacts from using salt. At the same time the envornmental impact in most parts of the country seem easily managed and well within the range of many other things people routinely do (like use water softeners).

    I think that TPG makes a good point that much of the pool industry has been in denial about this issue. But that hasn't ever been true of this forum. Likewise, Poolsean makes a good point that most salt pool owners are happy and not having problems. Beyond that there has been far too much name calling and quoting of examples that are in highly atypical pools with little instructive value and no relivance for most of us.
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