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kklswimfast
January 22nd, 2008, 11:19 AM
I coach at a YMCA pool (built in 1956 and is a 20 yard pool) where the air temperature ranges around 92-95 degrees and the water temp is usually around 88 degrees. Also, there is poor ventilation because the ventilation system is not working properly. Lately I have come home after coaching with terrible headaches. I worry about our age-group swimmers too because they are working out in such warm temps. The maintenance dept and Y will not lower the temp and have not taken our complaints as a priority. Is this a dangerous situation or do I need to just grin and bear it. Please advise if anyone can help or tell me who we can alert. Thanks!

aquageek
January 22nd, 2008, 11:22 AM
I would alert the police you are making kids swim in a 20 yard pool, that's criminal!

smontanaro
January 22nd, 2008, 11:33 AM
Maybe contact your city's health inspector? If the air temp is 92 and the water temp is 88 then they probably have a very nice culture growing in the pool or have to use massive amounts of chemicals to make it "safe".

Skip Montanaro

2fish&1whale
January 22nd, 2008, 12:23 PM
Consider using large fans deckside to keep the air just above the water moving.
Kids with asthma will appreciate it.
Our AG coach has a bout 3-4 going while he is coaching and it makes a huge difference.
He has also figured out a way to rig the incoming waterpipes, so only cold water gets pumped into the pool during his practices.
Not really something he should be doing, because chemicals are adjusted based on water temps.
BUT I got to join his kids once for cold water practice and I have envied them ever since!

Rob Copeland
January 22nd, 2008, 01:02 PM
If you are having frequent “terrible headaches” please see your doctor. If these are linked to environmental issues at the pool then the Y may begin to take notice. Also, you may be better served dealing with the Director instead of the maintenance department. And unless your doctor can suggest an environmental link, I would not go to the health inspector. From first hand experience, involving outside parties often leads to the termination of the program instead of resolving the problem in favor of the swim team.

smontanaro
January 22nd, 2008, 01:22 PM
From first hand experience, involving outside parties often leads to the termination of the program instead of resolving the problem in favor of the swim team.

I'm sympathetic to your position, but in my experience warm water temps at the Y are usually justified to make the pool comfortable for the little tots, who are themselves most likely to be susceptible to increased levels of environmental irritants or bacteria in the water. Their safety should take precedence.

Skip

Kurt Dickson
January 22nd, 2008, 01:36 PM
You are in a no-win situation. It is impossible to train at any decent level at those temperatures but is probably not dangerous (unless somebody gets heat stroke--but that would be a pretty tough kid that could push himself to that kind of pain in those temperatures). I agree that involving outside parties is useless. With environmental issues (and a multitude of things in the environment), it will be impossible to prove your headaches are from the toxic waste dump you are swimming in and raising a stink will most probably get the program booted as they don't want to deal with the aggravation.

2fish&1whale
January 22nd, 2008, 01:37 PM
I'm sympathetic to your position, but in my experience warm water temps at the Y are usually justified to make the pool comfortable for the little tots, who are themselves most likely to be susceptible to increased levels of environmental irritants or bacteria in the water. Their safety should take precedence.

Skip
sorry, but 90 + is excessive.....our Y is pretty accomodating to our little guys and the elderly, but even they keep it more at 88 for our "rec" pool........the lapswim/team pool is closer to 85.....
and I have been told by some of the life guards that our water park (shallow,very warm water) actually needs the highest amount of chemicals to keep the water safe and the air quality in that place is horrid, I have seen people come out of there with watering eyes and difficulty breathing.....

aquageek
January 22nd, 2008, 01:45 PM
Warm water temps at the Y are solely for the athritis classes aka noodlers. These temps aren't because of tot classes at all. This is a long running feud on this forum. My opinon only - the insistence of Ys to keep pools at 86+ degrees is a large factor in the demise of many Y swim teams. It is insufferable to swim in and awful to watch from inside a pool with water that hot.

I've also witnessed the draining of the hot pool versus the cool pool. The hot pool is horrific when drained and smells worse.

I actually witnessed a noodler the other day in the "pee" pool in a wetsuit because the temp was only 85 degrees. It's out of control.

2fish&1whale
January 22nd, 2008, 02:03 PM
I would think that , especially for the elderly, both swimming and aqua aerobics
in very warm water, is going to raise the core temperature too high and that can't be good.
If you are submerged in water and you are moving at a moderate speed you should be warming up from the excersize.
And if you are still cold, well maybe you are just working those jaw muscles instead.....:blah:
....No offence......
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Blackbeard's Peg
January 22nd, 2008, 05:18 PM
Warm water temps at the Y are solely for the athritis classes aka noodlers. These temps aren't because of tot classes at all. This is a long running feud on this forum. My opinon only - the insistence of Ys to keep pools at 86+ degrees is a large factor in the demise of many Y swim teams. It is insufferable to swim in and awful to watch from inside a pool with water that hot.

In my area, when I was growing up, one of the local Y's had a swim team. We knew about it, knew people who were on it... they were coached, looked like they swam "real practices," etc. My mom hated when there were other kids' birthday parties in there, cause the atmosphere gave her a huge fro in about 10 minutes. But a couple years after first hearing about it, I hadn't heard it mentioned again.

The program guide lists that they still have something that would amount to some sort of team, but what is offered looks to be far from a real team. Their pools are today at 84 and 86, and they have a lot of water buffalo classes. I've never heard of them sending anyone to Y-Nationals (masters or youth). If they ever had any sort of program, those kids all went to swim for RMSC or Curl-Burke - at a pool that is not stifling.

As a matter of fact, I was surprised to hear that YMCA swimming was actually good and that Y-Nationals had fast people (aka the blue muppet) - primarily due to my perceptions of all YMCAs, based off this place. Any other Y I've visited, I've found similar "weather," and had no reason to think otherwise.

2fish&1whale
January 22nd, 2008, 05:34 PM
In my area, when I was growing up, one of the local Y's had a swim team. We knew about it, knew people who were on it... they were coached, looked like they swam "real practices," etc. My mom hated when there were other kids' birthday parties in there, cause the atmosphere gave her a huge fro in about 10 minutes. But a couple years after first hearing about it, I hadn't heard it mentioned again.

The program guide lists that they still have something that would amount to some sort of team, but what is offered looks to be far from a real team. Their pools are today at 84 and 86, and they have a lot of water buffalo classes. I've never heard of them sending anyone to Y-Nationals (masters or youth). If they ever had any sort of program, those kids all went to swim for RMSC or Curl-Burke - at a pool that is not stifling.

As a matter of fact, I was surprised to hear that YMCA swimming was actually good and that Y-Nationals had fast people (aka the blue muppet) - primarily due to my perceptions of all YMCAs, based off this place. Any other Y I've visited, I've found similar "weather," and had no reason to think otherwise.
well, our Y has 3 Olympic trials qualifiers , warm water and all....:cheerleader:

Ripple
January 22nd, 2008, 05:41 PM
Warm water temps at the Y are solely for the athritis classes aka noodlers. These temps aren't because of tot classes at all. ...

Well... I've seen a lot of shivering blue children in the locker room of my community pool after swim classes, most of them under 5 years of age. My husband's youngest grand-daughter was a shiverer up to age eight, what with being a really skinny kid with no upholstery whatsoever.

Blackbeard's Peg
January 22nd, 2008, 11:20 PM
well, our Y has 3 Olympic trials qualifiers , warm water and all....:cheerleader:

Yes, it was the blue muppet, a Pennsylvanian like yourself, that opened my eyes to the better side of Y swimming. You guys' Y's know whats up when it comes to swimming.
Like I said, my experience was so tainted, I couldn't imagine otherwise.

mermaid
January 23rd, 2008, 07:54 AM
kklswimfast - Y's are an interresting animal. I've had my battles and fights, left one for another, etc. The thing that I've learned is that you need to find another way to "skin the cat".

Like Rob said, be thankful that you actually have a team - keep it! Don't anger the big bad administration! Appease them - keep feeding them! Find another way to work with your swimmers and families.

Here is my suggestion, in addition to the fan's (from above) how about having dry land training times/days? That way you give the kids water time and divide their time with strength, balance, coordination and control exercises. For example, use the body balls: have them lay on it belly down and practice their arm strokes. I'll bet core strength will increase and so will the proper form. Use medecine balls: make it a game working with a partner as the simulate starts holding the ball - give it a toss from way down back there to way up on the release - on command.

There are a million things you could do - you just need to be creative. Don't find yourself getting caught up in a battle of "forest vs. trees" issue.

2fish&1whale
January 23rd, 2008, 08:00 AM
Yes, it was the blue muppet, a Pennsylvanian like yourself, that opened my eyes to the better side of Y swimming. You guys' Y's know whats up when it comes to swimming.
Like I said, my experience was so tainted, I couldn't imagine otherwise.
I have come to realize that you need to make the most
of the "puddle" of water you have been provided.
Those swimmers that have it in them to make it far
will most likely do so regardless of the facility,
as long as they have dedicated coaching and
the willingness to do the work.
Does a shiny state of the art facility make a difference?
I don't believe so.....

aquageek
January 23rd, 2008, 09:37 AM
I completely disagree. Big shiny pools bring in the crowds, crowds bring in the dollars, dollars bring in more and better coaches. A dumpy squatty hot pool is not going to attract as many folks. If you want proof, go to cities that have mega pool complexes and the old dumpsters. See which ones have overall better teams and coaches.

Blackbeard's Peg
January 23rd, 2008, 11:44 AM
I completely disagree. Big shiny pools bring in the crowds, crowds bring in the dollars, dollars bring in more and better coaches. A dumpy squatty hot pool is not going to attract as many folks. If you want proof, go to cities that have mega pool complexes and the old dumpsters. See which ones have overall better teams and coaches.

I drive 20 miles, averaging 50+ minutes, from work to the University of Maryland's pool, three days a week. On the way, I drive past:
Rockville Municipal Swim Center - public, 2 indoor SCM and 1 outdoor LCM (summer only)
Montgomery Aquatic Center - public, indoor SCM
B-CC YMCA - where I am a part-time member - 2 indoor SCY, 1 outdoor SCM
Stone Ridge HS pool (indoor SCY)
Georgetown Prep HS pool (indoor SCM x SCY)
Silver Spring YMCA - SCM outdoor
Tacoma Recreation Center (DC) - indoor 50m, usually SCY


Prep's pool is actually really nice (it costs $23k/yr to go there). But for all the other convenient pools (RMSC is 2 mi down the street), I'd rather swim at UMD. I know the facility is clean. The air is not stifling. The water is bearable. The pool is not a small hole in the ground. The Masters team is active and good. The coaches are top-notch, ambitious, and very knowlegeable about the latest and greatest technique.

knelson
January 23rd, 2008, 11:55 AM
I don't think the pool needs to be new and shiny, but I draw the line at swimming in a pool with a water temp above about 85 F. You just can't get a good workout in in those conditions. Ideally I'd like the pool to be somewhere around 80, but I do realize pools are mixed-use facilities and not everyone wants it quite that cold.

2fish&1whale
January 23rd, 2008, 12:22 PM
I completely disagree. Big shiny pools bring in the crowds, crowds bring in the dollars, dollars bring in more and better coaches. A dumpy squatty hot pool is not going to attract as many folks. If you want proof, go to cities that have mega pool complexes and the old dumpsters. See which ones have overall better teams and coaches.
Well,maybe this team is an exception then....
There are several HS in my area that have respectable
to outstanding aquatic centers, but their club programs
have trouble recruiting the areas top swimmers.
Would the 200+/- Y swimmers prefer a shiny new facility?
Bet ya, but I have yet to see people leave for that reason.
As a matter of fact, this team has continued to draw
swimmers from other teams while charging some
of the highest fees, because the coaching staff is so solid.

2fish&1whale
January 23rd, 2008, 12:32 PM
I drive 20 miles, averaging 50+ minutes, from work to the University of Maryland's pool, three days a week. On the way, I drive past:

Rockville Municipal Swim Center - public, 2 indoor SCM and 1 outdoor LCM (summer only)
Montgomery Aquatic Center - public, indoor SCM
B-CC YMCA - where I am a part-time member - 2 indoor SCY, 1 outdoor SCM
Stone Ridge HS pool (indoor SCY)
Georgetown Prep HS pool (indoor SCM x SCY)
Silver Spring YMCA - SCM outdoor
Tacoma Recreation Center (DC) - indoor 50m, usually SCYPrep's pool is actually really nice (it costs $23k/yr to go there). But for all the other convenient pools (RMSC is 2 mi down the street), I'd rather swim at UMD. I know the facility is clean. The air is not stifling. The water is bearable. The pool is not a small hole in the ground. The Masters team is active and good. The coaches are top-notch, ambitious, and very knowlegeable about the latest and greatest technique.


You are one lucky swimmer to be able to use that pool!
I used to live near several awsome pools in the DC area,
but had lost interest in swimming at the time.
Now I swim almost daily and don't have the time to
drive more than 10-15 min. to get to a better pool.
The Y will have to do....:sad:

ALM
January 23rd, 2008, 12:41 PM
Their pools are today at 84 and 86, and they have a lot of water buffalo classes.

I believe the correct term is "aquapotamus"
:bump:

ALM
January 23rd, 2008, 12:56 PM
Warm water temps at the Y are solely for the athritis classes aka noodlers.

I ran into this issue years ago at a community center pool. Apparently, to be able to offer classes with some sort of Arthritis Foundation stamp of approval, they have to meet certain Arthritis Foundation guidelines.

I just found those guidelines - they say 83 to 88 degree water temperature. While 83 degrees is still on the warm side for some of us, it's at least tolerable (unlike 88 degrees).



From : http://ww2.arthritis.org/communities/Chapters/TEN/InstructorsCorner/AquaticProgramManual.pdf

p. 21
Water Temperature Guidelines

To date, research shows that for a recreational warm water exercise program like the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program, the appropriate and safe water temperature range is 83-88 degrees Fahrenheit (see references below). Higher temperatures, particularly those used in therapeutic pools, i.e., 91 degrees and higher, are not recommended.

In the field, there is constant debate regarding water temperature for our program partly due to the wide range of pools in which the classes are taught. It should be noted that therapeutic pools, those that are heated to high temperatures such as 91-99 degrees Fahrenheit, are inappropriate for active exercise programs like the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program. Ill-effects that may occur include an increase in core body temperature, a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in oxygen consumption and cardiac demands beyond a safe margin.

When the program is periodically reviewed and revised, there is a review of current research literature related to aquatic exercise and as appropriate, changes are made in the program guidelines and content to accommodate new scientific evidence….

Water Temperature References

Atkinson, G.P., Harrison, R.A. Implications of the Health and Safety at Work Act in relation to hydrotherapy departments. Physiotherapy. 1981;67:263.

Golland, A. Basic hydrotherapy. Physiotherapy. 1981;67:258.

Kirby, R., Kriellars D. Oxygen consumption during exercise in a heated pool. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1984;65:21

Ruoti, R.G., Morris, D.M., Cole, A.J. Aquatic Rehabilitation. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott; 1997.

The Water Well. Vol. 6 An Official Publication of the Aquatic Exercise Association, Inc. (2000-2005). Retrieved June 24, 2005, from http://www.aeawave.com/consumer.htm

Arthritis and Exercise. The Johns Hopkins University. (2002). Retrieved June 24, 2005 from http://www.hopkinshospital.org/health_info/Arthritis/reading/water_workout

O’Brien, D.B. (n.d.) Aquatics Offers Freedom. Retrieved June 26, 2005, from Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Web Site: http://www.marrtc.org/community/articles/2001-3/aquatics702.html

Twynham, J., Gross, R. (1997). Exercising your aquatic fitness opportunities. Retrieved June 26, 2005 from http://www.sandfordgroup.com/editoriallibrary1/fitness_library/exercisingaquatic.html

aquageek
January 23rd, 2008, 01:16 PM
Jayhawk - I've seen that as well yet have never found a Y to keep the pool at the 83 mark. I can deal with 83.

Here's the irony. I swim at 2 pools. Adjacent to one of them is a hot pool kept at 86-88 for the noodlers. In the noodling class at this pool the majority of the participants float and talk. Naturally if you are going to bathe you want hot water. The other pool is 78-80 and that is not subject to ever change as it is a swimming pool, not a floating pool. The aquatics classes there are vigorous with the participants working hard and the ages appear to be about the same at both pools.

The conclusion I draw is that the desire for high temps has more to do with participant effort, and not for actual therapeutic need.

chaos
January 23rd, 2008, 01:27 PM
for my point, i will disregard the temp of the air and water and comment on ventilation.

chlorine exposure is bad. even if the levels of chlorine in the water are within safe limits, inadequate ventilation can lead to unsafe levels in the air (and to date, i have never seen a lifeguard or anyone else test the air quality before a swim session)

SwimStud
January 23rd, 2008, 01:55 PM
I ran into this issue years ago at a community center pool. Apparently, to be able to offer classes with some sort of Arthritis Foundation stamp of approval, they have to meet certain Arthritis Foundation guidelines.

I just found those guidelines - they say 83 to 88 degree water temperature. While 83 degrees is still on the warm side for some of us, it's at least tolerable (unlike 88 degrees).

Isn't that odd? I had a vet who said that cold is better for arthritis as it reduces inflammation, and he cited how some older dogs get a little more playful in the snow because of this...

mermaid
January 23rd, 2008, 03:15 PM
As a trainer for the Arthritis Foundation and a level II US age group & masters coach - I completely understand the agony of all here.

Yes, indeed warm water is a requirement for the AFAP. Studies have shown as well as personal statements that warm water is better for those with artihritis (and all its other names). Thus the guidelines established by the Arthritis Foundation.

MS is different. Those folks need the cooler water temps.

Competetive swimmers need the cooler temps.

Air quality is another subject = everyone needs good air.

As I suggested earlier, figure out a way to work around the noodlers, appease the administration & keep the swim team!

If your facility needs to invest in a new HVAC system, get your board members involved.

ps - I know that there are noodlers who don't like to get their hair wet or raise their cardio conditioning and are fooling themselves with a workout & complain that the water temp is too cold. Those are the folks who can easily be dismissed - I'm not concerned with them and their complaints.

aquageek
January 23rd, 2008, 03:56 PM
Mermaid - so here's the rub. Your post sounds good on paper. In reality is where things go wrong. There is no way to have hot water for noodlers and a satisfying swim team experience. The two don't mix. Second, just try to dismiss the noodlers, good luck with that. Most USMS teams meet very early in the morning or later in the evening, when the administration is gone. This versus the hordes of seniors who hang around for hours during prime shift and berate the staff for water temps under 86 constantly.

I have two close friends who are aquatics directors and they both state the least satisfying part of their jobs is dealing with the complaints daily from the noodlers. Many times they will skip the aquatics dept and go straight to the head of the facility. Most of us lap swimmers are just happy to get lane space and the right water temp at a Y is like a miracle, so we don't complain much.

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2008, 05:00 PM
I don't see how competitive swimmers can "work" with noodlers either.

I swim in two pools mainly. My team pool is 80 degrees -- perfect! I also swim at a county rec center pool, which is 82 degrees -- perfectly acceptable to me. There are noodlers and kiddies galore, and I haven't noticed anyone freezing (although I'm sure they're complaining). I'm surmising the reason the pool is kept at a decent temperature is because a major USA team practices there, a high school team practices there, and high school meets are held there. So I'm grateful it's not a typical Y. I tried to swim at my health club the other day, 84 degrees, no dice. Scraped a swim set and did a long kicking set where my head was above water most of the time.

Bad ventilation really sucks for those with allergies and asthma.

aquageek
January 23rd, 2008, 05:14 PM
I'm surmising the reason the pool is kept at a decent temperature is because a major USA team practices there, a high school team practices there, and high school meets are held there.

I agree that this is the key. As a general rule no serious team is going to practice in a hot tub. The fallacy of the hot pool is that it is either so hot as to discourage active movement from the seniors as they could roast alive or is so comfortable that they don't exercise at all. You keep a pool at 80 and folks need to stay active to keep the chill off.

There's a good chance I'll go postal if I hear one more complaint by a noodler in 87 degree water with a lane to herself as I'm swimming with 5 other adults in a single lane doing fly. Then there is the bum-rush at 4:59 am to get their "regular" lane but that's another thread topic.

chaos
January 23rd, 2008, 08:03 PM
don't want to be a thread spoiler here but we all know that swimming hot sucks.....period.

the glanced over issue is poor ventilation in a chlorinated environment sucks more and is potentially dangerous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=75319


how many age groupers and masters already show up to practice with their inhalers in tow?

if usas and fina and usms all got together on this one, i think they could have a profound influence on how our swimming pools were treated after all........you are what you swim in. (alright, maybe thats a bit too dramitic)

mermaid
January 23rd, 2008, 09:03 PM
chaos - you mentioned the top swimmers organizations but you need to remember that we are discussing a problem of that seems to be endemic to Y's. The Y organization does not care about usms, fina or usswim guidelines because they have their own methods. (I have certs. on all sides)

Geek - you're right swimming or working out in a hot tub is aweful at best anything over 82 just makes me nuts!

Fort - you're right - you can't work with noodlers.

I am clarifying that if a facility has programs that are earmarked as AFAP, then you need to work with the administration to have that designation changed and those classes removed from the program offerings. No AFAP class should be is water that has a average temp less than 83.

As for ventilation, I did suggest that is there is a problem with the HVAC due to age or disrepair it should be brought to the attention of the board. Capital inprovement issues.

The aquapotamus', complainers, noodlers, etc. are the bane of all aquatics. Tell your aquatic director to get a spine and educate them so they stop creating so many problems.

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2008, 09:32 PM
It's not just the Ys with poor ventilation. I've been in decent pools used by USA teams that are poorly ventilated. I see kids with asthma having to sit out. Health club pools are notoriously poorly ventilated too.

some_girl
January 23rd, 2008, 10:31 PM
How much of the asthma is due to kids who have asthma being steered towards swimming? I seem to recall at least a handful of stories beginning, "X took up swimming when her doctor suggested [insert sport] was too hard on her asthma..."

Brendan Hayes
January 24th, 2009, 04:23 PM
don't want to be a thread spoiler here but we all know that swimming hot sucks.....period.

the glanced over issue is poor ventilation in a chlorinated environment sucks more and is potentially dangerous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=75319


how many age groupers and masters already show up to practice with their inhalers in tow?

if usas and fina and usms all got together on this one, i think they could have a profound influence on how our swimming pools were treated after all........you are what you swim in. (alright, maybe thats a bit too dramitic)
I think what you are referring to is chlorine gas. The article in the link refers to a chlorine gas leak at a facility. That is nasty stuff. The issue there was not having adequate ventilation to remove the gas quickly enough.
Once dissolved in water it is the most effective of the three agents( chlorine, bromine, iodine) used to "clean" the pool water of all the stuff we drag in on our bodies.
Not a pretty thought so keep swimming.

Here is a good link that describes what happens to chlorine once it dissolves in water.

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts172.pdf

lynnbeach
January 25th, 2009, 07:33 PM
My husband is the healthy water specialist at Centers for Disease Control and has been working on recreational water/pool issures for over 10 years; he works in partnership with pool operators throughout the country...so I asked him what he thought. His response: Poor ventilation in indoor pools is a public health issue for all--the competitive swimmers, the "noodlers", and young children in swim lessons. He suggested that you call the local Public Health Department and ask to speak to the person in charge of local pool inspections to check the records on that Y pool and ask them to follow up on the ventilation problems.

If you are getting headaches, so are other people. I know it is often our inclination to not cause problems by speaking up on these issues, but as patrons, it is critical to address these public health issues in order to effect change and provide healthy swim environments for everyone at the facility.

For more information on healthy swimming questions, check out CDC's website: www.healthyswimming.org (http://www.healthyswimming.org)

Hope that helps!
Lynn

hofffam
January 26th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Perhaps the article below on the USA-S site is helpful....

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=673&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=1563&ItemId=2748

chaos
January 26th, 2009, 12:57 PM
i'm glad to see this thread revived. air quality is an important issue.