If you’ve ever been to a community swimming pool, you know that sharing the water with dozens, if not hundreds, of people, is unavoidable. Those who have a swimming pool at home have no such issues and can enjoy a relaxing swim whenever the weather allows it. Unfortunately, swimming pools, no matter where they are, can be the scene of less-than-comforting incidents. In this piece, we cover four unusual stories related to swimming pools that occurred in 2016.
- Collaroy, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney is typically associated with beautiful weather, golden beaches, and a party atmosphere. However, in June, residents of Collaroy on the city’s northern beaches faced terrifying waves of up to 25 feet in height. The waves crashed into beachfront properties and traveled approximately 150 feet onto the main road.
As well as destroying the local beach club, and homes, it also claimed the indoor swimming pools of one of the properties along the shore. Incredibly, the waves smashed into the building and caused its swimming pool to go mobile right along with it. It ended up about 15 feet out to sea! It was the worst storm in the area in decades. In this instance, even swimming indoors wasn’t a guarantee of safety!
- Boulder County, Colorado
If there was ever a case for purchasing your own swimming pool, it is the story of the chemical spill that resulted in 22 swimmers going to Colorado hospitals in March. The incident occurred at a Lafayette recreation center pool, reported as a chlorine gas spill. The majority of those rushed to hospitals were children, and swimmers reported symptoms including nausea and coughing.
The exact nature of the chemical spill went unreported, and the Fire Chief of Boulder County acknowledged that it was a hectic situation. A witness reported that a number of people who emerged from the water had difficulty breathing. A Hazardous Materials Team was unable to detect lingering chemical or gas levels, and other pools in the area were unaffected.
- Sydney, Australia
We return to Sydney for our next surprising pool moment. This is a bit of a cheat since it didn’t happen in a swimming pool; it occurred in a pool chemical store. One night in early April, a fire suddenly broke out in the store. The blaze was so intense that 50 people had to leave their homes. The fire quickly spread from the shop to other units in the complex, but a team of 50 firefighters managed to keep the damage to a minimum.
The store contained chlorine, acid, and a variety of other swimming pool chemicals that were involved in the fire. There were concerns that a wind change could blow the hazardous smoke back into the houses of residents. If nothing else, this story should remind all pool owners to store their chemicals safely!
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This was unquestionably the biggest swimming pool shocker of the year and quite possibly of the century as it happened on the grandest stage imaginable: the Olympic Games. During the Games, the diving pool faced closure because the water had turned green! Issues with the cleanliness of the water plagued Rio from the beginning. Water polo players were unable to see while in the water and complained that it was hurting their eyes, likely due to excess chlorine levels.
It took days for Olympic officials to identify the root cause of the problem: improper combination of chlorine and hydrogen peroxide. We reported on this and 6 other ways not to use pool chemicals to help avoid unpleasant memories like this.
If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced no matter what time of year it is, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool or hot tub healthy. If you’re looking for someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.
We hope that 2017 will bring many fun and positive memories in and around your pool and hot tub!