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November 2015 Edition
Focus Topic: Compliance

Scott on Compliance

Michigan DEQ Suggested Practices

CDC Fecal Incident Response Recommendations

Andy’s Corner – Backwash Going to Storm Drain?

If your backwash is going to your storm drains (i.e., not compliant) watch this video to see how Andy retrofitted a pump room to fix the problem. There’s a lot of background noise….but that’s what you get in a working pump room.

Bill Babcock on Safety Compliance

Are Drones In Your Future?

Junior: “Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Captain Aquatic!”

Ma: “Nah, it’s just another one of them drones. Probably deliverin’ Chinese food. Or checkin’ the crops at the Billy’s bean farm. More’n likely, old Mrs. Tate’s just searchin’ for her cat again.”

Junior: “Oh… Can I shoot it with my slingshot, Ma?”

Drones, better described as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are just a few years away from being a common sight in skies all over the world. Prices continue to drop, flight ranges increase, piloting gets simpler, and world governments are determining ways to regulate these machines. So, can UAVs help you run your aquatic center? And, how can you ensure your UAV complies with existing laws?

Today’s consumer quality UAVs range in price from about $500 to $2000. For example, the DJI Phantom 3 is a $1200 quadcopter with an ultra HD video camera mounted on a stabilized 3-axis gimbal. You can live-stream the video or store it for later use. It can be piloted from your smartphone, and the GPS navigation system makes it nearly impossible to lose communication with the UAV. Pretty sweet, right?

A simple drone like the Phantom 3 has a few commercial uses in today’s regulated environment. First, it can make great marketing videos. Constructing a new water park or making major renovations? Keep your patrons informed of construction milestones with some aerial videos. That fly-over footage may also come in handy later if there is an underground problem at the site. (Builders don’t always follow blueprints.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Flint’s Water Compliant?… another opinion

source:  Primary Author: Dr. Marc Edwards

Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou’s Dissenting Opinion on the Upcoming Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Long-Term Revisions

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is in the midst of revising the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The intent of the 25-year-old regulation – detecting “worst case” levels of lead in water in U.S. homes and mitigating effectively extensive contamination – has never been realized.

First and foremost, this is because sampling of water sitting in lead pipes was never required. If such sampling were required, it is estimated that water utilities in 70% of U.S cities with lead service lines would exceed the LCR lead standard, and residents in those cities would be urged to take urgent precautions to protect themselves and their families from exposure to lead in their drinking water. In other words, millions of consumers who are currently being told that their water is safe, are drinking and cooking with water that routinely dispenses high concentrations of lead.



Image courtesy:



Over the years, entities like the MDEQ have also added “extra” steps to the LCR sampling protocol that effectively “miss” high lead-in-water problems when they are present. In Flint, these steps still include:

  • Use of bottles with tiny openings, so that consumers cannot sample at normal flow rates, which is necessary for detecting lead particles from lead pipes
  • Use of a 5 minute “pre-flush” or “pre-cleaning” of pipes the night before sampling, which temporarily “cleans out” a home’s plumbing system from lead and results in lead-in-water measurements that underestimate actual problems.

Incredibly, despite the fact that Flint’s lead-in-water monitoring scheme: a) failed to target “worst case” levels of lead in water and sampled many homes without any lead plumbing, and b) involved a sampling protocol known to underestimate lead release, the 71 samples that the City of Flint submitted to MDEQ still failed to meet the LCR. The reason Flint’s water was declared in compliance with federal standards was because MDEQ took extra steps in violation of the LCR. Namely, it threw out two of the high lead-in-water values, and another valid lead sample from the home of Lee-Anne Walters was also not counted. What this means is that if MDEQ and the City of Flint were to implement the LCR as it was intended, the results of the sampling would be staggering. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding Federal Mandates

originally published in Aquatics International –  By Tracynda Davis, National Swimming Pool Foundation

In the last several years, the federal government has been playing a larger role in aquatic rules and regulations.

Today’s operators must understand how these federal laws and guidelines apply to their facilities or risk liability.

As you prepare for the new swim season, here’s a look at three major federal edicts and what they mean to you.

1. Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA set minimum standards for newly constructed and existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas to make them accessible to people with disabilities. The Department of Justice is the federal agency charged with enforcing the ADA. These requirements went into effect March 15, 2012.

All public entities, schools and municipalities are required to meet ADA guidelines. This includes public accommodation facilities such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, time shares, and vacation homes that operate as hotels.

Though the ADA does not affect private or residential property, it could still be considered a public accommodation if it allows members and nonresidents use of the facility. Condominiums and homeowners associations may have to comply with the ADA if units are rented and availability is advertised.

Private clubs (those with restrictive memberships) typically are not required to comply with ADA. However, if the pool is open to nonmembers, then they must comply. States may be more stringent if they so choose.

The standards establish two categories of pools: Large pools with more than 300 linear feet of pool wall require two accessible means of entry — either pool lifts or sloped entries.

Smaller pools require one accessible means of entry — either a pool lift or a sloped entry.

Effective March 15 2012, all existing or newly constructed facilities must comply with the 2010 ADA standards. On this date, anyone can file a complaint or lawsuit if they think a facility should have accessibility and it does not.

In most localities, any new construction or building modification will not receive a certificate of occupancy without meeting ADA requirements. States may adopt the latest guidelines into their local codes if they choose. For further information, contact the ADA information line at 800.514.0301.

2. Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. Read the rest of this entry »

Repairs Extend Use of Non-Compliant Pool in Wisconsin

Copyright 2015 Journal Sentinel Inc. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)

Replacing Leaky High School Pool Could Exceed $8M

by Jane Ford-Stewart,, Muskego-New Berlin Now

Muskego – While the Muskego-Norway School Board contemplates $55 million in possible facilities projects, an additional $7.5 million to $8.5 million has been recommended to replace the Muskego High School swimming pool that has sprung a leak.

That leak caused the pool to lose a foot of water over a single weekend in June, said Jeremiah Johnson, district buildings and grounds supervisor. Emergency repairs were made that substantially reduced the leak, but school officials only recently were able to install a monitor to determine how much water is still getting out, Johnson said.

Swim classes and swim teams have not been affected.

Replacing the pool is on the citywide facilities survey the Muskego-Norway School Board approved last week.

“The pool needs work, but we’re not going to do anything with it until we decide on a referendum,” said school board President Rick Petfalski. The survey will help the board make that decision.

The district must decide whether to invest an estimated $250,000 for a new liner in a pool that is already deemed by the WIAA as being too shallow under today’s standards for competitive diving or whether to invest in a new pool or perhaps to find another alternative.

While the estimate to replace the liner is roughly $250,000, school officials won’t know the extent of needed repairs until the liner is removed and the condition of the pool substraight is revealed, Johnson said.

However, the most gnawing concern is the diving well being too shallow. The WIAA allows the pool to still be used for diving competitions under a “grandfather” arrangement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recovering from a Fecal Incident (and a salute to Caddy Shack)

Scott Cunningham tries to be serious but in the end he can’t help but salute his favorite movie, Caddy Shack.