Custom Pool Builder Chattanooga Pool and Patio

April 10th, 2016 is a day that many residents of Ft. Oglethorpe, GA are unlikely to forget. It is the day that two year old Noah Reyna drowned in an apartment pool while his parents slept nearby.

The frantic 911 call hit the papers soon after with the caller stating, “Please, can you get someone out here to the Oglethorpe Ridge Apartments right now? There’s a toddler in a pool, and we think he might have drowned.” (1)

Shortly thereafter, the distressed caller exclaimed that the baby had indeed drowned.  The city of Ft. Oglethorpe subsequently charged the parents with second degree murder.  (1)

Detective John Lanham with the Ft. Oglethorpe police department stated that the toddler’s death could have been prevented.

“At two years old, you don’t have the mindset to really know right from wrong, just that you want to play in the water.”

Cases such as this beg the question of what steps people should take to assure that their children or the children of others are safe around pool areas. 

Bob McLaughlin of Chattanooga Pool and Patio, Inc. in East Ridge, TN states that in the state of Tennessee, all pool builders are required to install a swimming pool alarm on in-ground swimming pools, newly installed. (2) These are devices that sit on the pool deck and detect intruders through a battery powered horn. (3) Therefore, if a child or animal falls into the water, the alarm will sound, alerting parents or other people in the vicinity of detected motion in the water.

McLaughlin also indicated that Tennessee State Law requires that swimming pools have a fence around them with a minimum of 4’ tall and no spaces more than 6” apart, with self latching and self locking gates.  He also stated that it is important during the off season to have covers on empty pools, in order to prevent any accidents.  

Spending time by the pool is meant to be a joyous, leisurely activity for families as well as a source of exercise and therapy for others .

If you are thinking about getting a pool for you or your family, please reach out to Bob McLaughlin at Chattanooga Pool and Patio, Inc. in East Ridge, TN for further details on how to keep you and your children safe around the pool and to make it an asset rather than a liability.

Sources:

  1. https://newschannel9.com/news/local/911-tapes-shows-panic-when-2-year-old-drowns-in-a-ft-oglethorpe-pool
  2. Interview with Natalie, 10/21/20 
  3. http://www.poolguard.com/inground.asp
Custom Pool Builder Chattanooga Pool and Patio

If you are unfamiliar with the process of closing a pool for the summer, contracting a reputable pool professional is always a good idea. However, if you are a do it yourself kind of person, here are ten easy steps to help in closing your pool until next season! 

  1. Clean the pool:
    Vacuum and brush the pool’s walls. If the pool is especially dirty or has a lot of algae, bypass the filter and vacuum on waste out of the backwash line. This will prevent contamination of the filter sand. Place the filter’s multiport valve on the waste position. The pool should be as clean and clear before covering or you could open in the spring to a green pool.
  2. Balance water chemistry:
    The week of the pool closing, make sure the pool waterfalls within the following below.
    pH: 7.2 – 7.8
    Alkalinity: 80 ppm – 120 ppm
    Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm (vinyl and fiberglass) 250ppm-500 ppm (shotcrete)
  1. Add shock and algaecide: 
    Shock the pool, following the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the chlorine level to reach 1.0 – 3.0 ppm before adding algaecide for the winter.
  1. Store equipment:
    Remove and clean skimmer baskets, wall fittings, pool cleaners/ robots, solar blankets and ladders from the pool and store away for the winter in a dry area. Don’t coil pool cleaner hoses tightly. Cartridge filters should be cleaned thoroughly before storing away for winter. 
  1. Lower water level:
    Using the filter pump or a submersible pump to lower the water level 12″ – 18″ below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3″ – 6″ below the tile for solid safety covers and floating covers. Some covers do not require the water to be lowered. Check with the manufacturer’s manual.
  1. Drain pump, filter, chlorination, and heating equipment:
    After the water has been drained and removed from all plumbing be certain to plug all wall inlets and skimmers. All water must be drained or blown out so the pipes do not freeze and crack. After draining, filter grids and cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly before storing away for winter. If possible, store the filter and pump indoors. If not, use a shop vacuum or compressor to blow out any water that may still be in the equipment.
  1. Lubricate:
    Fall closing is a good time to lubricate the pump lid o-rings. If there is a slide valve on the filter, lubricate its o-rings as well. If the pool has a gas heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in after draining to prevent rusting.
  2. Winterize plumbing:
    If the pool is in-ground, blow out the lines from the skimmer through the equipment and back to the pool. After doing so, plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If the lines are not blown out, add swimming pool antifreeze into the lines following the manufacturer’s package directions. If the pool is above ground, just disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plug the wall outlets. Be certain to refill the pool with water after you have blown out the lines and plugged them. For a vinyl liner or fiberglass, you’ll want the water to be filled to the skim line and for Gunite (shotcrete), you’ll want the water to be filled back to the tile line. This is so that your cover will have the water to lay on instead of falling into the pool.
  1. Cover the pool:
    A tight fit of the pool cover is essential. A mesh safety cover is the most desirable and safer. Solid covers will require a cover pump or siphon to remove rainwater and snowmelt. Above-ground pool covers use a cable winch device to secure the cover.
  2. Relax and plan for the next season.
    The pool is now closed! Make a mental list of the enhancements and improvements that can be made to the pool, its surroundings as well as equipment. 
Pool Contractor Chattanooga Pool & Patio

Summer is here and there has never been a better time to own a private pool! It is tempting to jump right in after having it closed for several months. Nevertheless, here are seven critical steps that should be taken in order to get your backyard oasis in proper working condition.

  1. Safety First! The first step to enjoying your pool is to make sure it is safe. Remove any debris that may have fallen, trim bushes that are in the way, and make sure there are no issues with the pool or the area surrounding it. This includes the cover, filter, pump, and any area furniture.
  2. Before turning on the pump and pump filter, be certain to fill the pool to the skimmer line.
  3. Remove all plugs and turn on all valves.
  4. Make a list of the chemical inventory in your storage room. Make sure the chemicals are not out of date and underwent proper storage procedures from the previous season.
  5. Use a test kit to adjust the chemicals in the pool’s water or have your local pool supplier test the water for you. This is a step that should be incorporated into a regular weekly maintenance routine.
  6. After a day or so, retest the water and make sure it is balanced properly.
  7. Enjoy Your Pool!

For further details, please contact Chattanooga Pool and Patio at (423) 899-6780, or find them online at chattanoogapoolsite.com.