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Q: swimming pool temperatures ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: swimming pool temperatures
Category: Sports and Recreation
Asked by: colorado39-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 31 Jan 2005 14:31 PST
Expires: 02 Mar 2005 14:31 PST
Question ID: 466558
Our mobile home park recently got new pool heaters and have raised the
temperature of our outdoor pool in Florida from 76-84 to 86-88. No-one
has wanted to complain because we are so appreciative of consistant
pool temperatures.  With the old heaters it was unpredictable and
often too cold to swim.
In the colder weather it is holding at 86.  When the air was warmer it
got up to 88. I believe it is set for 88.  The folks who like to stand
around in the water, love it.  Most of the lap swimmers and the water
aeorbics class members find it very uncomfortable.  Some experience a
reduced ability to exercise and some also experience nausea and light
Also, our pool was resurfaced last July and is now developing
yellow/brown staining on some of the grout at the ends and an ugly
build up of something on the tiles at the water line.  This was not a
problem before we got
the new heaters.
Since this is a multi-use pool I hope to assist in finding a 
comfortable temperature for all.  I think 84 (actual water
temperature) would work.  
Can you find me information I can print & present to the managment that
supports the following:
1. 86 degrees or more  is uncomfortable and/or bad for the health of a
person excercising in the water.
2.  High water temperatures can cause discoloration/damage to pool surfaces.
3.  Good pool managment requires different heater temperatures settings
depending on seasonal ambient air temperature changes.

Somewhat related Reference found:  St. Petersburg Times, November 20, 2004 Column
headline "Putting Pressure on delinquent owners"  sub heading "Pool
water too cool" by Richard White c/o Community Living - email
Subject: Re: swimming pool temperatures
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 01 Feb 2005 02:27 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I'm certain that the manufacturer of the new heater has provided a
manual where there is a recommended temperature for different types of
pool activity.  Ideally, the thermostat would have a couple settings,
cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon for those that
prefer to stand around and chat.  I can assure you the recommended
temperature is much lower than 88 degrees.

The norm appears to be between 78 and 82 degrees.

All of your questions are Answered at the links below...

Swimming Pool Temperature
..."The temperature is determined by a number of factors, with the
owners comfort being the number one determining factor. The pool
temperature recommended by the American Red Cross recommends a
temperature of 78 degrees F for competitive swimming. Although you may
find temperature to be too cool for young kids and the elderly. They
might require 80 degrees F or higher. The typical temperature range is
between 78 degrees and 82 degrees F..."

The Ideal Swimming Pool Temperature?
..."The answer is, not really. Swimmers tend to be comfortable in
temperatures around 78-82F. That's not an absolute, however..." (more
at the link)

Facts About Swimming Pools
The American Red Cross recommends that the most healthful swimming
pool temperature is 78F-82F. Be sure to use an accurate pool
thermometer, since a variance of just four degrees above 78F could
use as much as 40% more energy.  Shelter the pool where possible from
prevailing winds by using well trimmed hedges or other landscaping,
cabanas or fencing as windbreaks.

Energy Efficient Residential Swimming Pools
..."Set your swimming pool temperature to 26 C (79 F) or for vigorous
swimming, 22 C (72 F) may be adequate ... This is a general guide

Another Reference to 78-82:

Technical Bulletin: Hot Water Chemistry
This page is regarding spas but the principles are true regardless.
..."Higher temperature will cause --

1) Faster chemical reactions 
2) Faster evaporation rate 
3) Increased scale formation 
4) More organic waste in the water 
5) Accelerated bacteria growth ..."

The Safety of Chlorine in Swimming Pools
..."The heterotrophic plate count (HPC), is a procedure for estimating
the quantity of live heterotrophic bacteria in swimming pool water.
Colonies may appear in pairs, chains, clusters, or single cells. These
are all included in the term "colony-forming units" (CFU).

The objective of this research is to determine the safety of swimming
pool water. This will be accomplished by testing water samples for pH,
temperature, chlorine residual levels and bacteria. High bacterial
counts can lead to many diseases.

Water samples were collected and analyzed for water quality levels
such as: pH, Cl, and water temperature, which can affect bacterial
population in the swimming pool. By using nutrient agar plates the
samples were also used to observe when the bacterial (colony counts)
are greatest..."

This page might be helpful:

There is discussion about water temperature and bacteria growth, and
tables showing water tempterature and amount of chemicales used to
maintain clean bacteria free water..

In case you need it:
Fahrenheit <--> Celsius

If you need more information, or if I can assist you further in
regards to pool water temperature, please don't hesitate to ask via
the "Request For Clarification" feature.


Search terms used at Google:
"water temperature" "swimming pool"
pool "water temperature" comfort
pool "water temperature" bacteria growth

Request for Answer Clarification by colorado39-ga on 12 Feb 2005 06:59 PST
I appreciate your quick response.  We are in the Tampa Bay Area.  I am
disappointed that you weren't able to locate more directly applicable
information to the health effects of too hot water on exercisers
and/or more specific information re damage to pool surfaces.   The
best thing I have is still something I found at Ask A Scientist -
Swimming Pool Temperatures 2001237.  I'm guessing that that may be as
good as it gets and there is not much more specific information out
there.  Thanks much for your efforts.  Sue

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 12 Feb 2005 17:55 PST

I'm on my way out the door to my "day job" right now --I'll look again
for info regarding exercizing in too warm of water.  Check back here
Sunday night, or watch your email for when I post again.


Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 13 Feb 2005 23:53 PST

Here's what I was able to find for you.

Injury Prevention - Water Safety

Preventing or Treating Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is a condition in which the body temperature is raised to
a dangerous point. Symptoms of hyperthermia include heat exhaustion,
dizziness, disorientation, rapid pulse, hyperventilation, potential
loss of consciousness. A more serious result is heat stroke, which can
cause death. To protect from hyperthermia:

      Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol,
as these act to take fluids out of the body-increasing the dehydration
      Do not exercise in warm water. If the water temperature is 85F,
it is about the same as the skin's temperature, and the body heat that
builds from exercise cannot be transferred to the water. Thus heat
builds in the body causing the temperature to rise.
      Do not wear a wet suit in the hot sun when out of the water-the
body's heat builds inside the body, causing the temperature to rise.
      Recognize the signs of heat stroke: hot, red, dry skin; rapid
pulse; shallow breathing; difficulty thinking clearly.
      To help someone who may be suffering heat stroke, get the victim
to a cooler place immediately; cover with cool, wet beach towels or
pour cool water over the skin; use ice packs and keep victim lying
down; call 911 for help.

Here's something relevant, scroll about an inch to: "Are there any
exceptions to the minimum listing criteria?"

At the bottom of that section is this:

Qualifying pools that aren?t included:

    * Pools that meet the listing criteria but have such limited
public access hours (a couple of hours a day on only a few days a
week), that they?d simply clutter-up the database.
    * We will often exclude a facility that otherwise qualifies for a
listing because the water in the pool is kept too warm for anything
resembling ?real? swimming. The site editors find anything over 82 F.
(28 C.) too darned warm for laps, but we?ll include a pool as warm as
86 ? 88 F. (29 ? 30 C.) because we understand that not everyone
shares our preferences. We think twice before including an 89 pool,
and make our decisions on a case-by-case basis.

There are 318 results for "exercise in warm water" and only one for
"do not exercise in warm water." [above]
[ ~Swim pool "too warm" outdoor laps ] brought up a good result,
above. There may be more here.
[ "warm water" laps hyperthermia ] brings up 4 unhelpful links.
[ hyperthermia warm water lap swim exercise -dog -pregnancy ] refined
to 16 results, no help.
[ Hyperthermia "swimming pool" danger laps] brings up 3, no help.

This doesn't look relevant, but if you read it in it's entirety, it is:
Dear Fitness Expert

Someone asked a very similar question at the link below (May 13, 2004,
at 10:53 pm), and received no replies:

What are the health risks of speed swimming in an indoor pool that is too warm?

Is any of this helpful?


Request for Answer Clarification by colorado39-ga on 19 Feb 2005 11:45 PST
Oh, Boy, I think you got it this time! that thing on hypothermia is
perfect.  I talked to the manager and presented a packet of materials
from what you found and the pool was down from 86 to 84 today and that
is fine with us.  Thanks so much!  We also are going to try to get
this Park listed on that neat add a pool  site.  Thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 20 Feb 2005 03:40 PST

Thanks SO MUCH for the 5 stars, the kind words, the generous tip, and
especially for taking the time to ask for a clarification before
becoming resigned to thinking your answer was less than what you
wanted.  I am very gratified you are satisfied with my Answer and
Clarification.  The Google Answers Researchers on a whole, bend over
backwards to give complete and accurate Answers.

Thanks for using our service, please come on back when you can't
locate what you need (or just to participate in the Comments section),
and please tell your friends about us!

colorado39-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Wonderful, the first answer was helpful and the clarification was
marvelous.  Also, a quicker response than I ever imagined.

Subject: Re: swimming pool temperatures
From: cynthia-ga on 01 Feb 2005 01:17 PST
Actually, 82 degrees is not uncomfortable at all, but 83 might be
better in the winter.  What part of Florida?

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