"In an interview, remember it is not a dialog between your team and the selection committee. Rather the committee is comparing everything you say and show with what they have seen and heard from every other team."
Joe Hunsaker
Words of Wisdom

How Bad is Peeing in the Pool?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an epidemic of aquatic proportions on our hands: one out of five people freely admit to peeing in our pools.  Even Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have gone on record stating they frequently pee in pools.  But it’s not their fault; in fact peeing in the pool is a physiologic response to being in the water.

 

 

The water’s increased pressure on your immerged body (as compared to air) increases your fluid volume in circulation. One (of many) mechanisms to remove excess fluid from circulation is a peptide called Brain Natriuretic Peptide, BNP, (actually released in the heart), that likely along with its counterpart Atrial NP causes the kidney to “filter” out more water reducing the circulating volume, thus producing more urine.  This is your body’s mechanism of reducing the amount of work the heart has to do in response to more fluid in circulation.

 

But is peeing as bad it’s made out to be, well Stuart Jones, senior biochemist at Sense About Science , a London-based association, doesn’t seem to think so.  “Peeing in a swimming pool [sic] has very little impact on the composition of the pool water itself.”  He continues that “Urine is essentially sterile so there isn´t actually anything to kill in the first place… [it’s] largely just salts (ammonia) and water with moderate amounts of protein and DNA breakdown products.”  The oxidizers (e.g. chlorine) prevent that urine expelled bacteria from prorogating in the pool water.  From a volumetric analysis, an average lap pool has almost a half million liters (130,000 gallons) of water and a single urination produces only 0.2 liters.  You’d need a LOT of urine to affect the pool chemistry.

 

From an industry perspective, organic loadings have always been a concern for chloramine development leading to over chemical laden pools.  As a preventative measure aquatic staff has told patrons urine changes the color of the water.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such chemical additive to the pool; it’s even Snopes verified.  But that hasn’t stopped comedians or pop culture from seizing hold.

 

 

 

 

So what’s the big deal with peeing in the pool?  Well from a sanitation concern there really isn’t one, but from a health and comfort concern peeing may be the number one problem.  So for all those swimmers out there who complain about red-eyes in the pool, first STOP COMPLAINING … YOU’RE THE PROBLEM!  Second, stop peeing in the pool and making it worse for everyone else.

 

All Stories

Music Videos: Swimmer Re-mix!

For years musicians have been featuring pools as center pieces for their music videos. The problem is that swimming hasn’t been the focus, it’s been the partying and extravagance being showcased. Recently lifeguards, swimmers, and even pool maintenance professionals have gotten into the mix and have made aquatics the true center piece. Here is a list of my top 5 favorite “swimming videos”. I believe these creative expressions stem from staring at the bottom of a pool for hours upon hours, or maybe it’s breathing chlorine fumes for too long.

 

Splash on em:

Featuring a cast of multi-national Olympian swimmers including Ed Moses, Mike Alexandrov, Max Jaben, Azan AL-Barazi, and Katie Hoff, this is what swimmers do in their off-time.  Filmed at SPLASH in La Mirada, CA this original song shows what swimmers think about while starting at the lane markings on the bottom of a pool.

 

Pool Care Rap Video

How do you make pool care and maintenance interesting, ask Matt Giovanisci.  His original song and video literally “steps” you through how to care for a pool and keep the water “sparkling clean.”

 

Call Me Maybe USA Olympic Swimming Team

Spearheaded by a few key members of the USA Women’s 2012
Olympic Swim Team, this video shows the lighter side of training only weeks
before the London Olympic Games.

 

Harlem Shake: University of Georgia Men’s Swim Team

Remember the Harlem Shake? Well so will University of Georgia’s Men’s Swim Team, indefinitely.  This Harlem Shake video has over 37 MILLION views on YouTube; something’s you can never live down.

 

Lifeguard Style (Gangnam Style Remake)

In September of 2012, 13 lifeguards and their supervisor we fired by the City of El Monte, CA for making “Lifeguard Style,” a spoof of the popular PSY’s Gangnam Style .  The story made national news and eventually after petitions and unwanted publicity, the City re-hired their staff.

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable mention: Fanny Pack Sexy Back

They say mimicry is the ultimate form of flattery.  If that’s true, Justin Timberlake would be proud of these YMCA lifeguards.

 

 

Alternatives to Your Local Pool

Summertime and the livin’s easy, or so it is said.  With much of the country in a heat wave, people nationwide are looking for ways to cool off.  With an estimated 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States1, approximately 20% of the general public participates in some type of aquatic recreation2.  So what about the other 80%?

 

This is where old-fashioned human ingenuity comes in.  People will always look for ways to cool off, but some of these “pools” should never be tried again.  Here are some of our favorite make-shift “swimming pools” to beat the summer heat.

 

 

Another reason to own an El Camino:  Car in the front, truck POOL in the rear!

el camino

 

New meaning to private pool, hope he doesn’t pee in there.

trash bag

 

I’ve always been told not to drink around a pool, but what if your pool is the drink?  Not sure if this is the best or worst idea I’ve seen.

heineken

 

Recycled construction waste, but tiled and with a ladder?!?

dumpster

 

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Brooklyn hipsters made a pool in a dumpster.

brooklyn

 

Ok, this may actually be viable; no pool heater, no problem.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Hard day at work … wash off in your own Backhoe Hot Tub

backhoe tub

 

What’s for dinner?  I smell soup … and chlorine.

redneck-hot-tub-party

 

 

 

References:

  1. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. U.S. Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Market 2011 
  2. US Census Bureau.  Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012. Arts, Recreation, and Travel: Participation in Selected Sports Activities 2009

I Think

Joe Hunsaker always taught us to do your homework and only provide answers you know are right.  If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and follow up once you do.  Often times, people fall into the “I think” or the “I don’t think” syndrome.  Far too often people make decisions based upon assumptions which are backed up with presumptions and not based upon facts.  Here are a some timeless quotes Joe shared with us illustrating this concept.

“I don’t think I will go to jail.” – John Gotti

“I don’t think the Chinese reds will cross the Yalu River.” – General Douglas McArthur

“I don’t think I will be convicted.” – Martha Stewart

“(I think) this airplane will revolutionize air travel.” – The investors in the Concord.

“(I think) the levees will hold.” – The Mayor of New Orleans

“(I think) TWA will fly forever” – Howard Hughes

“I don’t think the Americans made a second bomb.” – The mayor of Nagasaki.

“Jimmy, believe me, you’ll never go to jail.” – Attorney Morris Shaenker while waiting for the verdict in Hoffa’s jury tampering trial.

“(I think) we will overthrow Saddam Hussein in three weeks, set up a secular democracy and have the troops home by the end of the year.” Dick Chaney

“(I think) this ship is unsinkable” – The design engineer of the Titanic

“I don’t think it is my fault” – Ken Lay of ENRON

“We’ll reach India in two or three weeks” – Christopher Columbus

What To Do When Your Pool Leaks

A leaking pool is a problem…for everybody. How do you find the leak or leaks, and then how do you fix the problem?

Following a plan can often reduce time and frustration.  A good strategy for finding one leak is the following:

1.      Identify the most likely sources of a leak in a pool:

a)  A crack or hole in the shell

b) The expansion joint and the water stop is broken and the sealant is compromised

c) Honey combing (tiny holes) in the concrete around fittings

d) An underwater light conduit broken or unglued

e) A leaking seat at a hydrostatic relief valve

f) A failure in the underground piping

2.      Testing for leak:

  •  Step one: At closing time, mark the normal operating water level.  Operate the filter pump all night and then mark and measure the loss of water 12 hours later the next morning.
  •  Step Two: At closing the following evening, repeat the same as above except turn off the filter pump. The next morning mark and measure the loss of water.

a)  If the water loss is the same, whether the filter pump is running or not, the leak is in the pool shell, and at one or more probable sites identified as in a-e above.

b)  If the water loss is greater when the filter pump is operating it suggests the leak is in the pressure piping.

c)  If the water loss is less when the filter pump is in operation, it suggests that the leak is in the suction piping i.e. the suction in the pipe draws groundwater into the pool or mud impacts a crack in the pipe, thus reducing the loss of water.

d) If a leak in the pool shell is identified as large or small, the next step is to confirm the location. The most common is to use food-coloring concentrate or crystal violet with scuba or mask and snorkel.

e) Modern technology provides professional leak detection contractors.

f)  If the leak can be diminished by temporary underwater repairs to the pool shell or piping, that may be the best tactic until the end of the outdoor season. If in an indoor pool, a shutdown will need to be scheduled to make repairs.

This was shared by Joe Hunsaker with Aquatic Professionals in 2005.