We wish it were true but, alas, there is no chemical that turns pool water blue if someone pees in it. At Mel Magazine, Mike Rampton investigates:
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“Most pools are 20,000 gallons (91,000 liters) or more, so to make a few ounces of urine show up as a bright color would take some serious chemistry,” says bzsteele, a former pool supplies store employee, who recalls new pool owners asking about the dye. “There are cheap tests that could detect urine, but things like sweat, detergent and lotions would also be likely to spike them, so you’d be thrown off by all kinds of false positives. And once the reaction had happened, I’m not sure how you would undo it and get the pool back to stable.”
There’s also the fact that disinfection byproducts, or DBPs — created when the chlorine in pools reacts with the endless streams of pee released into them — are far more harmful than chlorine or urine would be on their own. Haloacetic acid, trihalomethane and chlorite can all be created by chlorine and organic matter (sweat as well as pee) reacting together, and can lead to respiratory issues, eye complaints, “lifeguard lung” and asthma. Adding more volatile chemicals, then, is unlikely to improve matters. And although pool disinfection techniques that require less chlorine (such as UV light, saltwater and hydroxyl-based systems) are increasingly being taken up by pool owners concerned about DBPs, a color-changing substance to stop people peeing in the pool is still nowhere in sight.
Ever dream of taking a dip in one of those gorgeous pools at Hearst Castle? YES, ME TOO. Well, get out your credit card, because it's going to cost you.
...it will require you to join The Foundation at Hearst Castle with a minimum donation, which helps fund the castle’s art conservation and education programs (and the minimum amount for a members-only swim event is $950). But can you really put a price on the opportunity to swim at this storied San Simeon landmark within the California State Parks system, built for newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947? Open for only five pool nights this summer and fall (July 6, August 4, August 24, September 21, and October 20), it’s a rare chance to float and frolic where famed stars like Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford, and Charlie Chaplin have. Admission is capped at 40 people, so lucky attendees aren’t elbowing one another for the privilege of swimming in one of America’s most iconic design attractions.
Reserve your spot now. Read the rest
Update: The manufacturer writes, "Sea Gold is NOT for use with swimming goggles. It can irritate the eyes and we would appreciate it if you update it with our Anti-Fog Spray.
For the record, I haven't experienced the irritation, even after more than a month of use.
I am an extremely dedicated swimmer, thanks to a chronic pain condition that is just barely held in check by an hour in the pool every day. I go through a couple pairs of goggles every year: generally the thing that goes first is the elastic or the ratchet for the headband, but sometimes a pair of goggles will get so fog-prone that I just can't swim with them anymore.
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Arthur the cat looks so regal as he swims determinedly and hangs out confidently in the swimming pool. Read the rest
Infinity London is a planned 220-meter skyscraper topped with a wild infinity pool that completely covers the roof. There's a new video explainer from the designer below, but let's quickly answer the obvious question of how one gets in and out of the pool.
“The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out – the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!" says designer Alex Kemsley.
The details of who will pay for the building and exactly where in London it'll be located "is yet to be confirmed."
From Compass Pools:
The pool is made from cast acrylic rather than glass, as this material transmits light at a similar wavelength to water so that the pool will look perfectly clear.
The floor of the pool is also transparent, allowing visitors to see the swimmers and sky above...
Other advanced technical features include a built-in anemometer to monitor the wind speed.
This is linked to a computer-controlled building management system to ensure the pool stays at the right temperature and water doesn’t get blown down to the streets below.
Boasting an innovative twist on renewable energy, the pool’s heating system will use waste energy from the air condition system for the building.
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A few weeks ago at Appleton, Wisconsin's Lawrence University, a group of experimental musicians, dancers, and performance artists staged "Breathe," a "multidisicplinary water opera" in the college's swimming pool. (The video above is from a previous performance at Middlebury College's Natatorium). From Fox Cities Magazine:
Lawrence University’s Margaret Sunghe Paek, professor of dance and curator of Dance Series, will work with music director Loren Dempster and director/choreographer Gabriel Forestieri to bring (the performance) to life...
“I wanted to see if I could make sound underwater,” Dempster says. “I experimented with microphones underwater, I bought a hydrophone, I [even] played the cello underwater.”
Dempster will be the only underwater musician in the entire opera as he will be in the shallow end, playing his cello while underwater microphones transmit the sounds above the surface.
Forestieri choreographed the opera, combining the practice of dance and free diving, called dancing in apnea, to create the water visuals.
“[I’m] taking cues from the space and the people in the space and how they relate to each other,” Forestieri says. “The choreography is a mix of [dancing] on deck, sometimes in the pool, partner dancing in the shallow end, and dancers floating with float belt.”
(via Weird Universe)
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Ross Edgley is swimming all the way around Britain, which is being followed both above and below the ocean's surface. A large minke whale visited him the other day. Read the rest
Some people are more committed to a cause than others. Ben Lecomte? He’s one of those. In an effort to highlight the stunning amount of damage humanity is doing to the world’s oceans and generate awareness about plastic pollution, the 50-year old adventurer plans on swimming through 1,600km of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Lecomte started his swim this morning in Japan. Provided everything goes according to plan, he’ll finish his aquatic ramblings in 180 days, in San Fransisco. This isn’t his first open water rodeo: according to The Guardian, Lecomte swam across the whole damn Atlantic Ocean back in 1998.
From The Guardian:
The Great Pacific garbage patch, according to the latest March estimate, is twice the size of France and contains nearly 80,000 tonnes of plastic.
Also known as the Pacific trash vortex, the patch is caused by the North Pacific gyre – a circle of currents that keep plastic, waste and other pollution trapped.
According to scientists, the patch has been growing “exponentially” in recent years. The March estimate found it was 16 times larger than previously expected.
As Lecomte makes his way through the garbage patch, he and his support team plan on taking water samples and catching fish to test for plastic pollutants and illustrate how plastics have been infiltrating the food chain. This might sound like a a goofy publicity stunt, but if you take a peek at the endeavor's website, you'll see that Lecomte's efforts have the support of some big scientific guns, including NASA, CMER, the Argonne National Labratory and the University of Montana, just to name a few. Read the rest
Swimming pigs, splashing horses, and diving bulls await in this lovely roundup of animals swimming, some of whom are a bit surprising to see taking to water so eagerly. Read the rest
Benjamin David was tired of the car traffic during his morning commute in Munich, Germany. So now he jumps into the Isar River and swims the two kilometres to his job. He packs his clothes, laptop, and phone in a waterproof floating bag.
"You kind of really are in a natural, almost wild river in a very urban context, so there's lots of green and pebbles and what not, kind of pebbly beaches, and that's where I start," David said.
"And once you get further into the city … it becomes more like a pool actually, the atmosphere, and there's beautiful historic buildings to the right and left of the river, and I just drift by those and enjoy the view."
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Paris, France is making good on its promise to reopen long polluted waterways to bathers.
Up to three hundred people at any time can use the lifeguard-protected pools, although the pools only have locker space for 80. Located in a part of Paris already popular as a place to stroll in fine weather, the new bathing spot is likely to prove a major hit in an already hotter-than-average summer. Early reports suggest that the water is indeed delightful, though a small residuum of green algae does make a post-bathe shower a good idea.
How did Paris pull this off? The city’s been working on cleaning up the waters here for decades. Paris’s canals here were once unsurprisingly filthy, running as they do through a former industrial area once packed with cargo barges and polluted by sewage. Since the 1980s, however, regulations managing industrial run-off have tightened substantially, while Paris has invested heavily in wastewater treatment and in preventing sewage from being discharged into the canal during periods of high water. Two years ago, following a concerted clean-up, bacteria levels dropped below safe levels, and rogue bathers have been jumping in the water here for a while. Meanwhile, the Canal Saint Martin, which runs downstream from the basin down to the Seine, was entirely drained and cleaned in 2016, a process that sent a powerful visual message to Parisians that the area’s historic filth was being swept away.
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I know people who live in shipping containers, and a (great) record store in a shipping container, and now I see you can swim in a shipping container. Modpools modify shipping containers into modular and relocatable heated swimming pools. There are also models with dividers so you can turn one half into a hot tub. An 8 x 20' model is $26,000 which is in the same range as a basic in-ground pool. (via Digital Trends)
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In the Olympics, there should be a medal for how impressive a synchronized swimming routine looks upside down and underwater.
(via @ziyatong, thanks UPSO!)
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On Tuesday, the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre's diving pool turned green. Yesterday, the water polo pool followed suit. Various reasons have been, er, floated, depending on who is doing the blaming, I mean explaining:
• It's a change in alkalinity, says Mario Andrada of the Rio 2016 local organizing committee. "We expect the color to be back to blue soon," he said. "...There is absolutely no risk to the athletes or anybody."
• No, actually heat and still air caused an algae bloom, according to the Olympic organizing committee.
• More likely, says FINA, the International Swimming Federation, is that the water tanks "ran out some of the chemicals used in the water treatment process."
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Wayland appears to be a bit of a wet blanket when it comes to having fun.
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There's much YouTube evidence of wild animals swimming in our man-made swimming pools, as more of our homes encroach on the land they once roamed. Read the rest