Swimming Pool Tip #25

What about that Health Club or Motel Spa?

Soaking in the hotel spa after an exhausting trip sounds wonderful, right? Relaxing in the health club's hot tub after a hard workout doesn't sound bad, either.

Great idea? Well . . . maybe not.

Ask your spa dealer.

We've been asking that question of dealers, manufacturers and service people attending swimming pool and spa industry shows for 8 years. So far, we've never found anyone in the pool industry personally willing to use a commercial spa! Not one single person! Health inspectors, doctors, dealers, service people -- nobody who knows wants to get into a commercial spa!

What's going on?

When you use a spa, your body releases sweat, body oils, skin cells, and other contaminants into the water. In a well maintained pool, these are 'oxidized' by the chlorine.

Unfortunately, a properly maintained commercial 400 gallon spa with 4 ppm chlorine level contains only 1/4 of an ounce of chlorine. This is barely sufficient to deal with the contaminants from even one bather, much less 4 or 5. By comparison, a typical community pool, with the same level of chlorine will contain over 7 pounds of chlorine distributed throughout the pool.

What does this mean? Simply put, a commercial spa does not have enough oxidizing chemicals present to stay ahead of the 'gunk' from multiple users. So not only does the gunk remain to produce that cloudy foamy water so familiar to intrepid spa users, it feeds cuties like Psuedomonas areuginosa and Legionella pneumophila. Trust me: you don't want to get to know these slimies better.

To be fair, it is possible for a facility to maintain a commercial spa. But it is so labor intensive we've never even heard of a facility doing it! Skeptical? Check how hard your local hospital works to maintain its therapy spas.

So, next time take a long hot shower instead, and wait till you get home to use the spa!

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