For many, radon is known as a radioactive gas that can cause illness and even death. In fact, radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year and is the second leading cause of lung cancer (second only to smoking). The challenge, of course, is that high levels of radon are not immediately acknowledged. You can’t see radon. You can’t smell it or taste it.
The same is true for unbalanced water in swimming pools and aquatic features. One might glance at a pool and see clear water. This same person might jump in the water and not smell or taste anything unusual. Yet, clear water is not necessarily healthy or balanced water. And like radon, the costs of unbalanced water (levels of chlorine, Ph, alkalinity, calcium, etc.) can be dangerous. Not only to people but the equipment and structure associated with the pools and aquatic features.
- Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs): Each year thousands of swimmers develop and RWI. RWIs include a wide variety of infections (i.e., gastro, skin, ear, etc.) and are caused by germs (none of which can be seen, smelled or tasted) including Cryptosporidium, e coli, Giardia, legionella and Shigella;
- Excessive Costs of Aquatic Equipment and Mainenance: Whether you have $10,000 or $200,000 of aquatic equipment (i.e., heaters, pumps, filters, feeders) the impact of corrosive and unbalanced water can be significant. How often are you replacing heaters (or heater exchanges) or pump seals? Poor water chemistry can increase your equipment and maintenance operating costs by more than 30%.
- Excessive Costs of Aquatic Structures: Do you find yourself resurfacing your pools and aquatic features more often than might be expected? Are your water slides covered in scale? Are your ladders corroding? Is your pool full of stains? Poor water chemistry can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary expense.
Despite these significant risks and costs, the good news is that poor water chemistry, like radon gas, can be addressed through effective testing and the implementation of the right systems and technologies. For operators of all aquatic facilities, large or small, the key is to not let the unknown become a liability or create longer term expense.