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Poolandspa.com News

Past Poolandspa.com Online Newsletter Articles
From Poolandspa.com Online Newsletter June - August 2009

Scroll down the page to find the articles you are interested in.


VIKING POOLS DONATES POOL TO CAMP HEARTLAND

Viking Pools installed an Ocean Breeze pool for Camp Heartland, a camp for kids with HIV/AIDS in Willow River, Minnesota. Each year, the organization impacts thousands of at-risk and marginalized children through year-round support, advocacy, life skills and recreational programs and community awareness efforts.

Click here is view the short video


INNOVATIVE NEW YORK POOL COMPANY "TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS"

Pools 2000, a Long Island based swimming pool company, has come up with an innovative way to beat the recession blues.  If the customers don't come to your store, bring your store to the customers! 

The brainchild of owner Bob May, this converted and upgraded RV is now a rolling pool store, complete with pumps, filters, chemicals, parts and toys to delight almost any swimming pool owner.

"Why drive all the way to the pool store when the "Pool Patrol" is coming to your town?" says Mr. May. If you live on Long Island and need pool repairs, service or some items for your pool, be sure to visit Pools 2000 and look for the "Pool Patrol" in your neighborhood. For more information, click here to visit their web site.


POOLANDSPA.COM DONATES TO ARTHUR KAYE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Poolandspa.com recently donated funds to the Arthur Kaye Memorial Scholarship that was established by the Kaye Family in memory of their son, Arthur.  Arthur was a graduate of Hauppauge High School and Hofstra University, both located on Long Island, NY, and was he very interested in journalism.  Two graduating seniors from Hauppauge High School, with specific interests in journalism, will be presented with the inaugural Arthur Kaye Memorial Journalism Award this June. Poolandspa.com's President, Daniel Harrison attended both Hauppauge High School and Hofstra University and was a friend of Arthur Kaye.

The funds are being held by the Hauppauge Educational Foundation under the "Arthur Kaye Memorial Scholarship Fund". For those that would like to make a donation in any amount (all donations are t ax-deductible), please make checks payable to "Arthur Kaye Memorial Scholarship Fund" and send them c/o: Paul Borowski, 70 Autumn Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788.


NEW LAW WILL KEEP SWIMMERS HIGH & DRY


Mike Heiney, owner of Westside Pools in Las Vegas, Nevada, compares an old pool drain cover, left, with a new anti-entrapment cover designed to prevent death. Federal law requires that public and community pools and spas have the drain covers installed, which Heiney calls “an expensive process.”


Customers Rant About The Law

This is unbelievable....! 10% out and I can't use my pool? Couldn't we at least let adults swim and keep 5 yr old politicians kids outta the pool. This sucks !

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How's this: Tell your kids to stay away from the pool drains or they'll get sucked into them. That worked for me, and my friends, and we all somehow survived our childhoods.

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I agree, what in the heck is going on with this stupidity. This is a drain cover for heavens sake. A molded piece of plastic and two screws. If it requires more than that this really shows why the Air Force has toilets seats that cost $ 8,000.

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Stubbed toes?, really, in a swimming pool? No wonder our country is starting to suck so much, nobody has a functioning brain anymore!

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As a pool contractor, this law has been an overwhelming burden for the HOAs and apartment complexes,but equally frustrating for our industry. Two govt agencies trying to hash out what's acceptable and what's not is a perfect example of federal govt trying to control every aspect of every business. Yes, safety guidelines need to be given, but if you could see the chaos that has ensued trying to have states coordinate with the feds, it has been a joke!

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Another bad law? "I don't want to worry about my children's hair getting stuck," says Jamie McCafferty, owner of Excellence Community Management, which operates about 150 HOAs valley wide. I was under the impression all community and public pools required those with long hair to wear swimming caps, at least they use to? Which leads to the question regarding victims cited as drain entrapment injuries/deaths how many were wearing swimming caps?

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How about the filter system only run at night after hours...That way the pool would not be a danger to swimmers during the day...

From Las Vegas Review Journal, Mon, Mar 30, 2009
By Brian Eckhouse

See also:
What Is The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act And Why You Should Care

Prompted by drownings of youngsters pulled to the bottom of swimming pools by the overpowering suction of pool filters, including the death of the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, Congress in 2007 passed a law requiring that public and community swimming pools and spas be retrofitted with safety devices.

The law went into effect in December. But scores of homeowner associations across the Las Vegas Valley have yet to do the work and are telling their members not to count on enjoying their pools this summer.

Some of the associations say they don’t have the money. With so many foreclosures, their income from homeowners dues has plummeted.

The managers of other homeowner associations that can afford the retrofitting say they won’t be opening their pools for other reasons. They blame confusion over conflicting federal and state laws, a paucity of parts and a backlog of requests at the Southern Nevada Health District to sign off on the retrofits.

Association managers say their clients sympathize with the intent of the law but are frustrated in trying to comply with it.

“I don’t want to worry about my children’s hair getting stuck,” says Jamie McCafferty, owner of Excellence Community Management, which operates about 150 HOAs valleywide. “And obviously it’s a hazard. But it’s a difficult time to do this; it’s been hard on HOAs with all their defaults.”

Mary Bolchalk of Adept Property Management expects that three of her 30 HOAs won’t have a pool operational this summer. (The law extends to hotel and municipal pools, but not those at private residences. About 4,200 pools valleywide are affected by the federal act).

Retrofitting can cost upward of $40,000 but averages about $5,000, according to contractors and health officials.

The average cost isn’t a pittance to aging developments with fewer than 100 units. Donna Barbee, a regional vice president of Griswold Real Estate Management, says two of her communities almost certainly won’t open their pools this summer.

“I’ve got residents asking for refunds,” Barbee says. “We don’t know if we’ll be able to do that. And if we raise dues higher, I’ll have more homes in foreclosure.”

One of the associations Barbee manages, near Wynn Road and Twain Avenue, hosts a pool for a community with 200 units, but only 48 were built. The bill for a pool that size would run $14,000, Barbee says. So she tried to secure loans, but the association of 900-square-foot townhouses has a high delinquency rate. If she can even get a loan, it will carry a high interest rate.

Bolchalk assumes that most people in these poorer HOAs can’t afford a vacation this year, even to the California coast. “So they’ll expect to use their facilities, but they might not,” she says.

The extent of pool-less HOAs could have been worse valleywide, at least at the start of summer: The shortage of drain supplies has eased since last month, pool contractors say, and concern over compliance with the law has eased somewhat.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission enforces the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act — not the Southern Nevada Health District or a state agency.

That initially proved problematic: the health district may not enforce the law, but its staff must issue work permits and approve any pool rehabilitation. So there’s a a growing backlog of approval requests, even with the earlier shortage in drain supplies. Some managers blame former district officials for failing to prepare for this summer upon the bill’s approval. Other managers acknowledge they share in the blame. They say they’ve known about the new law since early 2008, but the deepening recession delayed their own timeline until recently, overwhelming pool contractors and district officials.

The health district recently tweaked its approval process, allowing HOA managers to reopen their retrofitted pools without an inspection. If an inspector later identifies a problem, the pool will be closed to address it, says Glenn Savage, an environmental health director for the health district.

The district’s procedural change has pleased informed HOA managers, but several still are unclear about the details. Some managers are unaware that legal verification of the new approval process is available on the health district’s Web site.

And contractors say there is an inconsistency between the federal and state laws: Some safer drain covers are so thick they may not comply with state law because they can stub toes, says contractor Joe Blockovich. But a health district spokeswoman says federal law trumps state code, so the shape of drain covers shouldn’t halt the retrofitting.
 


WHAT IS THE VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER SAFETY ACT FOR POOLS & SPAS AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Classic Gunite Beauty

In 2002 at the age of 7, little Graeme Baker died in a spa after the powerful suction of a drain entrapped her under water. While some children unfortunately die each year from swimming accidents in pools and spas, this little girl was different.  She was the granddaughter of the former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III.  This brought the tragedy into the spotlight. James A. Baker, III, joined Graeme's mother, Nancy Baker, and Safe Kids USA in a three-year advocacy campaign for the legislation. 

Passed in 2007, the legislation states that as of Dec. 19, 2008, every commercial pool (and spa) nationwide is required to have certain safety measures in place. All drains must be outfitted with approved covers, and single-main-drain pools need either split drains, safety vacuum release systems, vent systems or other approved methods. Un-blockable drains measuring more than 18-by-23 inches can stand on their own. This law does not pertain to existing residential pools and spas, unless they are being drained and renovated. All new pools and spas must comply.

"While the loss of our beloved Graeme will be with us always, our hearts have been lifted by the passage of this common-sense piece of legislation that will save lives," James Baker said.  "We are grateful to President Bush and the members of Congress who are making sure other children are protected from the kind of accident that took Graeme from us."

Initially, this sounds like a great law, right ?  But as with many laws passed, there are unforeseen unintended consequences of the law.  The first one is that it became active as of December 2008, right in the middle of the worst recession our country has ever seen.  The expense necessary for many public and municipal swimming pools and spas is causing many of those pools and spas to be shut down.  Many of the towns and cities and small condo and apartment complexes that are covered by this law simply do not have the money to comply with it.  Experts say that the costs to retrofit the suction and main drain system of most units could be anywhere from $2000 all the way up to $200,000, depending on the complexity of the filtration system.  In these economic times, those costs are proving prohibitive for may public pool & spa operators. The next problem is that due to the recession...(read the rest of the complete article here)


FUNNY POOL PHOTOS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2009:

Recession Busters Pools

"I will not participate in the recession."

These folks figured out ways to have a pool - one way or the other.

The recession can't stop some folks from getting a swimming pool - one way or the other !

These guy's had to make due with whatever they had to beat the heat at this local car show.

Very innovative !

OH NO !

BEAT THOSE CITY BUDGET CUTS !

Is your city cutting budgets which are leading to public pool closures ? 

Take a look at this make-shift swimming pool.  Hey, when it's hot, it's hot.  Look...they even have a lifeguard for safety !

I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' LINER

Why wait for the pool guy to finish your pool and install your liner? 

Or, maybe she ran out of money before the pool was finished ? 

Either way, you can't stop Sally from taking a dive into her new [hole for a] swimming pool !


SEE POOLANDSPA.COM'S NEW SHIPPING WAREHOUSES


Photos of our three new warehouses in Chicago, stuffed to the rafters with all the newest pool & spa supplies, ready to ship out to you !


Recession Busters

NEW SHIPPING FACILITY ALLOWS US TO KEEP OUR PRICES LOW !

Although we still ship from multiple warehouses in a few different states, we are trying to centralize most of our operations in order to save time & money.  Shipping the majority of our products from these three new state of the art warehouses in Chicago allows us to keep our prices to you low.  We still have our other specialized warehouses located in Nevada, New York, Arizona and Tennessee.  Most orders leave our facilities within 48 hours of you placing an online order, so you receive your items fast.  No one in the world stocks more pool & spa parts and supplies than Poolandspa.com !


DUCK SHOW WEB SITE VERY INTERESTING

You have to see this web site.  It is called Duck Show.

A woman takes rubber ducks, paints them, and then goes all over the world to take photos of the ducks in different locations. 

The photo to the left is "Ducks getting married in Las Vegas".

Too much time on her hands, we guess.  Strange but true.


CONSUMERS PICK BEST SPAS OF THE YEAR

Poolandspa.com has been conducting a few consumer surveys over he past three months.  One of the questions in one survey was "What do you think is the best spa brand ?"  We are proud to announce that all the consumer's top picks were also Poolandspa.com Best Of Class Award winners too.  We will have more detailed results from our survey next month, but here are the top five hot tub brands for 2008, according to consumers:

First Place - Hot Spring Spas
Second Place - Jacuzzi Hot Tubs
Third Place - Sundance Spas & Dimension One Spas (tie)
Fourth Place - Arctic Spas
Fifth Place - Thermo Spas

These surveys are still open for responses, so if you want to take any of them go to the survey page now.

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