A swimming pool is a confined place that is filled with either normal water, hot water or saltwater in order to be used for swimming and other water related activities. Swimming pools are either in-ground or above ground. The materials used for constructing swimming pools are metal, concrete, fiberglass, natural stone or plastic. A swimming pool can be built to any size, from standard ones to the largest ones (Olympic swimming pools).
Swimming pools are used for exercise and recreation purposes. Mostly, every city has got one or more public swimming pools, where anybody can come and take a dip. Swimming pools can also be found in hotels, universities and all sorts of educational institutes. Certain swimming pools are filled with salt water or hot water, which are also called hot tubs and spas. These are used for hydrotherapy and rejuvenation purposes.
The first sighting of the swimming pool can be found in the Pakistan of today by the name of ‘Great Bath’, which is a site that is present in Mohenjo-Daro. The measurements of the pool is 12x7m and it is made with bricks with a covering of sealant made from coal-tar. This pool dates back to 3rd millennium BC.
Romans and Greeks also constructed artificial swimming pools for military exercises and nautical games. But, it was Gaius Maecenas who built the 1stheated pool in first century BC.
There are swimming pools present in Anuradhapura, SL that were made during fourth century BC. These pools have unique design, which gives an aesthetic look to the pools.
It was the years from 1835-1855 when the swimming pools became famous in the UK. In Maidstone, England there exists Britain’s oldest club related to swimming. Medway River led to the construction of the swimming pool, which was also used for racing and diving. Bathers turned into swimmers and the usual bathing pools switched to swimming pools.
The popularity of swimming pools increased after the commencement of the modern Olympic Games in 1896. But, it is the Philadelphia Racquet Club, which is among the world’s 1st above-ground swimming pools that are considered modern. The oldest pool in the US is situated in Belmont, MA.
The period of World Wars were also quite favorable for the popularity of the swimming pools. Five decades later, the residential swimming pools has thrived in order to become a common household thing.
There is a Military College in Canada that has created a two-storey swimming pool hat is made from white concrete in 1959.
Swimming pool records
World’s largest pool: San Alfonso Del Mar Seawater, Algarrobo, Chile. Spread across 20 acres, with a length of 1,013 meters and a depth of 3.5 meters. The construction work of the pool was finished a decade ago.
Largest indoor pool: Situated in NASA JSC (precisely at Neutral Buoyancy Lab) in Houston, TX.
Deepest Indoor Pool: Y-40 pool situated at Hotel Millepini, Padua, Italy.
Largest heated outdoor swimming pool: Fleishhacker Pool, which is situated in California. The pool measures 300m by 50m and was extremely big due to which, it was shut down in 1971.
Largest swimming pools in Europe: Elblag, Poland and it was opened in 1934. The water carrying capacity of the swimming pool is 33,500 square meters.
World’s highest pool: It is situated in Yangbajain, which is a town in Tibet, China. The swimming pool is at a height of 4200m above sea level, with the water filled up through hot springs.
Dimensions of the swimming pool
Length: In most parts of the world, the measurements are done in meters except in the USA, where the length of the pool is measured in feet and yards. The internationally acclaimed standard is ‘metres’ only.
Width: The majority of swimming pools are 10m to 50m in width.
Depth: The swimming pool’s depth is determined by the purpose it is to be used. Where private swimming pools are 1-2 meters deep, the public pools can go from 3 meters to 6 meters. Swimming pools for children can be 0.5 to 1.5 meters deep. The depth can be varied as per the requirements of the swimmers.
Swimming pools can either be indoor or outdoor. Some pools are constructed by digging the ground up, whereas some pools are placed above the ground. Swimming pools come in various shapes and sizes.
These are comparatively small in size than public swimming pools. The measurements of an average private swimming pool is 3.7m x 7.3m to 6.1m x 12.2m, and the measurements of an average public pool starts from 24m. People can choose to have permanent swimming pools, which are also called in-ground pools or above-ground swimming pools, which can be disassembled in the winter season. Private swimming pool is a huge success in the places with greater latitudes.
Every swimming pool is constructed in a different way, but the most common types are gunite, vinyl-lined, shotcrete, single-piece fiberglass and concrete pools.
In some parts of the world, it is important to isolate the swimming pools, so that small kids don’t enter the area. But, it is not mandatory to fence the swimming pool, people can make a choice on their own whether they want their swimming pools fenced or not.
Swimming pools for children
The swimming pools for kids are made from polyvinyl chloride, which can be erected during the summer season and removed in the winter seasons. These types of swimming pools are convenient for parents as well because they can easily inflate the swimming pool when their kids request to take a dip in the water.
To further enhance the fun factor, parents can add toys in the pool, which can really make things interesting for the kids.
Public Swimming pools
Every city has got one or more public pools where people can come and spend some quality time taking a dip in the water. The public pools are properly chlorinated so that people don’t fall sick after swimming in the water. At some places, the swimming pools have hot water or saltwater, so people have a number of options when swimming at the public pools.
There are certain pools that are constructed at the hotels, which are only accessible by the guests. The pools will not be normal swimming pools, but they can either be a hot spa, Jacuzzi or more.
The length of an average public pool is 25m or 50m, whereas the shape and size could vary. Some pools have artificial waterfalls, splash pads, fountains, wave machines that makes things a lot more exciting for the swimmers.
There are a number of swimming pools that offer lockers so that the swimmers can store their clothes and other essentials safely. Those pools also have a good amount of lifeguards to avoid the chances of any catastrophic event.
There are certain pools that are used for kids, which are called paddling or wading pools. These pools are present in three main shapes, i.e., circle, square and rectangle. To ensure the safety, chlorine is added into the water.
There has been certain standards set by the FINA regarding the measurements of the competition pools. They can either be 25m or 50m long, whereas the depth has to be 1.35m. The competition swimming pool is an indoor pool and it is also heated regularly to be able to be used all around the year. Moreover, they should be equipped with advanced machineries.
If a swimming pool has to qualify for an Olympic swimming pool, then it has to meet the standards set by FINA. The size of the swimming pool should be 50m in length and 25m in width. The depth of the pool needs to be around 2 meters. It has been seen that all the swimming pools of Olympics stature don’t follow the standards laid out by FINA.The swimming pool after seeing its physical structure is given the tag of slow or fast. The design of the pool has a lot to do with the speed.
In the past few years, a swimming pool of the new design has been getting a lot of popularity. These are exercise pools that measure about 2.5x5m and the water is generated artificially. The exercise pools are called by many different names like, the swimming systems or machines, and the swim spas.
Spa Pools and Hot Tubs
These are heated pools that are used in hydrotherapy. Tubs and spa pools are present in the gyms and fitness centers, and people can enjoy hot baths there. The spas used for commercial purposes are made from mosaic tiles on the inside and concrete on the outside. There are various safety standards that need to be taken into the consideration while installing the commercial spas and hot tubs. The hot tub is made like a wooden wine barrel that has straight sides, which are supported by the hoops made from metal.
Home Spas: The popularity of home spas increased three decades ago, and their sale begin in the pool and spa shops, the measurements of these spas are six square meters and the depth is around one meter. There is a comfortable seat attached in the middle, which is usually a reclining seat. The temperature is kept up to 40 degree Celsius. The portable version of home spas is very popular as well.
Whirlpool Tubs: They are also quite popular in the US. These tubs are introduced after the popularity of Jacuzzi. There is a special venturi pump, which is connected to the tub, which creates bubbles and also maintain the temperature of the swimming pool, just in case the heat goes to an unbearable level. A bather should only stay for half an hour max in the tub because the temperature of water is very high, i.e., 38-42 degree Celsius. For sanitization, Chlorine is added in the tub that kills the bacteria along with the bad smell.
These pools came to into the existence in the last century. The water is encapsulated in the rock shelf and when the water level exceeds the limit, it get poured into the ocean over the sides of the swimming pools. These kind of pools are very popular in Australia, but the origin of ocean pools can be found in the European tradition because people in that era used to bath in rockpools. There is every arrangement made from the security point of view in order to protect the swimmers from rough tides of the sea.
These swimming pools provide a great view as the water extends to the horizon, thus getting the name Infinity pool. People will see as if the water is falling into the lake, river or ocean. The major highlight of this pool is the effects that are produced by this swimming pool.
Natural ponds and pools
These pools are perfect for those who want to enjoy swimming without putting any pressure on the environment. No disinfectants or chemicals are added into the water because the cleaning is done in a natural way through the plants and the biological filters that are present in the water. This is a healthy way to swim and maintain the balance of the water.
As there is no chlorine added in the water, there are no issues such as dry hair and skin, red eyes and more. It is not just the human beings, which swim in the water, but a wide range of water animals and amphibians as well.
Zero-entry swimming pool
There are a number of activities that are performed in the zero-entry swimming pool. These are; scuba diving, canoe polo, underwater rugby, underwater hockey, synchronized swimming and other underwater sports. Astronauts and military also improve their techniques in the zero-entry swimming pool.
To reduce the level of pathogens and diseases in the water, proper sanitation needs to be done. A large number of techniques are used to filter out all the bacteria and virus from the water. The most common element used in the water is chlorine, but bromine can also be used. If the water looks green or yellow, then these disinfectants need to be poured into the water.
The cover for a swimming pool helps protect the pool from all bacteria and virus. The cover also helps decrease the absorption of the heat by the swimming pool during the daytime. The heat loss occurs mainly due to the evaporation, which can be saved by covering the swimming pool.
Transparent bubble cover: This cover is ideal for protecting the swimming pool against heat loss. The cover also protects the pool against Ultraviolet rays. The cover can easily stay intact for 3-5 years, and after that, it starts to tear off due to overheating or chlorine content.
Vinyl cover: This pool cover is known to absorb more heat from the sun than any other pool cover. But, the temperature of the pool doesn’t reach as high where the pool may get damaged. The life expectance of a vinyl cover is more than the transparent bubble cover.
Floating disks: These are a great alternative to the pool sheets that people usually place on the swimming pool. These disks are light and inflatable and perform a wide number of tasks such as, control algae growth and UV rays and provide resistance to heavy winds.
Safety covers are placed during the winter season. These covers are attached using hooked springs or bungee cords to the deck of the pool. These safety covers bars leaves, dust and debris from getting inside the pool and make it dirty. The covers are available in any local pool shop.
There are three types of pool covers; manual, semi-automatic and automatic. It is easy to roll the covers and store it in a dry location.
Semi-automatic covers: there is a real system incorporated in these covers that are driven by motor. The rolling and unrolling of the cover is done electrically, but in order to pull the cover, one has to use his/her power.
Automatic covers: With just a push of a button, it is possible to cover and uncover the swimming pool. These pools are highly convenient, but they come at an expensive price. The reels are spun by an internal or external motor.
A few pool covers are easily attached on every side of the swimming pool. These pool covers easily accommodate 4-5 people.
People who live in the places where the temperature reaches below freezing points need to choose pool covers keeping the type of swimming pools they have.
Fibreglass and closing vinyl pools
Everything needs to be sealed so that the water is not frozen inside the pipes. Empty the pipes in order to save them from cracking. DE and sand filters should be back washed, and all the plugs need to be taken out and drained. People can add winter chemicals to protect the pool. The fibreglass pool construction is unique, but there is a chance of damage due to the metal staining.
In the areas where winter season is not that harsh, a thermal cover can be placed. This is done to protect the pool from algae and other pathogens. The chlorination system should also remain active if the filtration is done daily for a couple of hours.
It is important to have a first aid kit near the swimming pool area. At public pools, lifeguards are present to monitor each and everything. People should avoid head-first diving, especially in the shallow water. In the swimming pool with greater depth, it is important to keep children away otherwise be prepared to face the consequences. There are various toys that can be placed in the pool, which could prove very useful in saving the children from drowning.
There is a specific strict code that one has to follow while swimming. Every country has its own specific dress codes that one can find on the internet or at the local swimming pool community centre. Swimming with normal clothes is neither desirable nor advisable. So, get the right dress code/swimming costume prior to going for swimming.