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Barron Swim School opens state-of-the art facility !

 

So, suppose you are a leader in the Gymnastics industry for 38+ years, and you want to offer a learn-to-swim program for your customers and beyond? What would you do? 

If you are the Barron Family, you would dive in (no pun intended) headfirst, learn from the best in the industry, and build the best possible swim school for your clients. Here is a quick recap of the process, the story, and the results.

Read on.

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The Journey - Knowing what you don't know.

Step 1, assemble a team.

The Barron Family had 38 years of leading edge experience with gymnastics, but quite frankly knew nothing about pools. They said so during our first meeting. But they weren't really starting from scratch, as building a top-flight gymnastics school requires many of the same processes and procedures with staff and customers alike -- so they knew how to build a kid-centric business, but not a pool.

They had high goals, and knew they were starting from the bottom. But Joe and Diane Barron, and their kids Scott and Julie would not take no for an answer.... especially when one swim school owner told them that "they would never make it". Later, pool veteran Jack Young joined the Barrons to help round out a winning team.

They took some quick steps toward success, and adopted a team concept. The team included:

  • Third Level Design, Frank Sahlein, President
    • Versatile business coaches that provide complete feasibility studies, demographic analysis, etc,
    • 3rdLevelConsulting.com
  • SwimConsultant.com Andy Broido, President
    • 35-year Swim School industry veteran in operations, curriculum, teacher training, etc.
    • swimconsultant.com
  • CES, Alvaro Mendoza, President
  • Westport Pools, Jim Bastian, Preisdent
    • Engineering, Pool Construction, on-site service center support for major mechanical components
    • westportpools.com
  • Leading Swim School owners
    • Provided guidance and answered hundreds of questions
    • Miren Oca - Ocaquatics Miami, ocaquatics.com
    • Dave Tonnesen - SwimKids, VA swimkids.us
    • Many others

This type of collaboration gave the Barrons the answers they needed from folks that they trusted, and allowed them to develop a good game plan right out of the gate.

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The process: Hit the Road Jack.

Step 2: Formulate a game plan

It took 3 years.... but the Barron Family paid their dues and did their research. All in all, they visited over 50 swim schools and attended 5 swim professional conferences all over the US and even travelled to Australia. They consulted with their primary consultants above and worked with other experts in the field to develop their facility, curriculum, procedures, class management and teaching techniques. 

Then there were thousands of questions and emails, and as many phone calls and meetings.

The result? The best of the best.

The state of the art facility was designed to teach from 6 months and up, from beginners to swim teams. It was designed to get young children comfortable with the water at an early age, and guide them all the way through to adult life and even competitive swimming. They can take swimming as far as they want to go. But no matter what, they will be safe, and will enjoy and respect the water.

According to the Barrons: "Our end goal for students who complete all of our levels is for them to be able to safely and fully participate in water activities for the rest of their life. They will be able to go on a family vacation and swim in the ocean, to surf or ski, to scuba or snorkel, to join a competitive swim team, or to go to the pool with friends and be able to swim in the deep end and jump off the diving board."

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Step 3: Put on your hard hat

Built for comfort - for the long term

Sure it looks great now, but converting a former grocery store to a top flight swim school was no easy task, and filled with tremendous challenges. Some say that "construction" is a short name for "are you kidding me??", and Scott mentioned that one of the valuable lessons they learned was that (even with a great team) the pool owner NEEDS to be at the construction site on a consistent basis, keeping an eye on the progress, and resolving any issues. This hands-on approach saved the Barrons time and money 

The pool is definitely the focal point of the facility and it looks great. It is fully surrounded by full glass walls that helps keep children and spectators safely off of the deck but fully engaged in the action. The pool area air is a perfect 86-87F with 58% relative humidity, and water is a warm 91F with special care to remove any irritants.

This allows students to be comfortable in and out of the water; and there's no shivering at Barrons Swim School. The 30’x60’ pool is 4’ deep to maximize teaching area, but deep enough that students can swim without touching the bottom.

Similar schools have built great facilities but didn't have the space for creature comforts. The Barrons' oversized locker room was made for families so adults can assist children of any gender at all times. Within the locker room are fully enclosed toilets, showers and changing rooms to protect privacy when needed. The common area has baby changing counters, cubbies for storing clothing and towels, plugs for hairdryers and benches.

There is even a row of on-deck showers between the pool and locker room so students can rinse off after their class while still in their swimsuits. A glass wall protects the parents who want to stay dry when the children get out of the pool.

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Step 4: Provide the best atmosphere for learning

Water and air quality is important for the health and safety of students and teachers. 

Under the hood, there is a lot of substance behind the pretty face.

The perfect pool environment, pleasing to the kids and parents alike, was no accident. The perfect pool air environment and temperature is the result of a state of the art dehumidification system - literally the size of a freight train -- which was a major investment in the facility, but an easy decision according to Joe.

The crystal clear irritant free water was no accident as the CES permanent media drinking water-grade filtration system completely processes ALL of the pool water every 90-min so that patrons, teachers, and guests are always swimming in perfectly pure fresh water. The system has some redundancy to plan for any eventuality, and backwashes in only 3 minutes with a simple throw of a lever, so there is little down time.

The Barrons chose a traditional Pulsar tablet chlorinations system -- but you hardly know it is there, as there are no offensive chlorine odors, and they are protecting both facility and bathers with perfect water balance of calcium, alkalinity, and pH. 

The pool is equipped with a high-power UV system that not only kills germs, but provides drinking quality water helps remove eye and skin irritation. This system is validated by the EPA to inactivate 99.9% of Cryptosporidium in a single pass, another way to help ensure the safety of bathers and teachers alike.

The CES control system takes direct control of all major parameters, and monitors all vital signs.

  • It monitors and controls Chlorine, ORP, and pH to precise levels to avoid irritation.
  • It monitors the filter system and alerts operators as to the perfect time to backwash
  • It monitors and controls the circulation pump to assure rapid turnover, while saving energy
  • It maintains water level and counts how much water is being used, to save valuable resources
  • It monitors all chemistry and water quality mechanical parameters and instantaneously alerts the team if any parameter falls outside an ideal level.

The pool is monitored 24/7 by CES and the Barrons, both from our PC's, but also from our smart phones and tablets. In case of an out of range condition. the system literally blows up phones with texts and emails until the issue is corrected -- well before it even becomes an issue.

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Conclusion

Sure, the Barrons were told they would "never make it", but we knew all knew differently. While the fun formally began when Joe called and said "let's do this thing", the preparation extended years before.

This degree of preparation, not only detailed above, even included them renting a pool many months in advance to fully train their instructors and fine tune their swimming curriculum before opening the doors. Sure that was an added expense, but a no-brainer for the Barrons.

The Barrons learned on the fly but they are pool novices no more. Diane and Julie were both invited to speak at the 2016 United States Swim School Association (USSSA) national swim conference and were able to share and teach other swim experts about staff hiring and training as well as office procedures and customer service. 

They have been open for a few months now, and are rapidly gaining a following, and are on a collision course with great success. If you're ever in St. Louis, make sure you take a look for yourself.

According  to the Roman philosopher Seneca, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity", and you can bet on the Barrons being lucky for years to come.

It couldn't happen to a nicer family.

Special CES variance streamlines installation of supplemental UV

Many organizations are turning to UV (Ultraviolet) treatment systems to remove chloramine odors, or give them an extra layer of protection against nasty organisms like legionella. These systems offer a strong non-Chlorine treatment of the full flow of pool water, thus making it an effective solution. They require very little maintenance with periodic cleaning along with a simple lamp change every 13,000 hours. They are also quite affordable.

What is the problem? Currently the DOH code requires that all supplemental UV systems receive a special variance from the Governor’s Variance Board which meets in Orlando every other month. The application process takes paperwork, time, and money.

We are proud to announce that CES recently received a special statewide variance by DOH to install any one of our 9 Sentry UV units as supplemental treatment in pools and spas WITHOUT requiring a variance. Good Stuff, huh?

Learn more about how UV technology can help resolve your indoor pool chlorine (chloramine) odor issues, and can help bulletproof your organization against harmful organisms such as Legionella, etc.

Positives and negatives of making your own Chlorine on site.

 

For years we have been asking customers who decided to "make their own" Chlorine about their experiences, and we have heard a wide variety of responses. We heard about the financial benefits, going green, and many more. We also heard about all the negative press about Saline, the many hundreds of failed saline installations, and other issues. But they forged ahead and installed systems that manufactured chlorine on site.

How much Chlorine has this group of customers banded together to make? Are you ready for this?

Between '06 and Dec '16, CES customers have installed systems capable of making over 

7,669,155 lbs of Chlorine.

 AND, each and every day, CES systems are making up to

4,628 lbs of Chlorine.

 undefined undefined Includes small, big, commercial, institutional facilities.

Why did they do it? Let's look at the positives and negatives of making your own and then you can decide if it's for you or not. Read on! 

 

Different ways to make your own chlorine?

undefined undefined Two different ways to make Chlorine.

As a quick review, there are two proven ways to make you own chlorine. The first is by adding salt to the pool, and converting that saline solution into chlorine when it passes the "reaction chamber". The other is by installing a skid mounted OSEC (on-site electrolytic chlorinator) which is a skid mounted machine that makes Chlorine out of recycled pool water. The difference between the two is whether the salt goes IN the pool, or IN the process.

Negatives of Making Your Own:

Let's first look at the known negatives or roadblocks that customers encountered while setting up to make your own chlorine. 

  • Money: Literally customers were installing a Chlorine FACTORY on their sites and that costs money, sometimes LOTS of it, and this requires approval from managers, boards, and residents. That can be a real pain.
  • Risk: There are thousands of successful residential systems, but there are SO many failed commercial systems out there, so making your own chlorine on a commercial pool is considered to be a risky proposition. Consider it like open heart surgery (more on this later).

undefined Residential Cells for a commercial application haven't worked.

  • Permits: Changing your DOH-permitted chlorination system normally has required engineered drawings, and pre-approval from the Department of Health. Many contractors hadn't and don't ever plan on doing this, and that places the owners' facility in violation of the law. Not good.
  • Not a complete solution: Most of the time it does not make financial sense to install a saline system large enough to handle 100% of your legal workload. So you really need to have a redundant Chlorine feeder, but HOW do you integrate the two? Do you leave the backup plugged in, do you wait for a chemical issue and then plug the backup system in? There are issues with both these strategies.

undefined Hotel replaced 14 cells in 3 yrs and then upgraded to another system.

  • One of Five: Chlorine not the only chemical that you pool needs, in fact it is only ONE of FIVE major chemical additions that need to be made. So if someone has convinced your staff that saline chlorination resolves all... they are full of guano.
  • Susceptible to issues: Saline system are reported to struggle against Equipment Corrosion as well as Phosphates and Organics, common forms of pollution that are introduced into the pool by city water, bathers, etc.
  • Adding salt and other difficulties: Adding salt to a pool manually is a real pain, especially if the pool leaks. You had to lug sometimes hundred of bags of Chlorine, add to the pool and brush until dissolved. The overall conversion to making your own can be difficult and painstaking. Especially if you partnered with the wrong company. It is much easier to keep doing what you're doing, especially since store-bought chlorine is not exorbitant.

undefined Expensive condo saline system only lasted a few painful years.

Yes, there were many negatives and they should be looked at first, but through a lot of hard work from CES and a handful of manufacturers, many of these have been and can be easily overcome. So let's now look at the positives.

Positives of Making Your Own Chlorine:

Here are a few positives along with innovative ways that our customers handled some of the negatives.

  • Soft Silky Water: Over and over again, we hear patrons sing praises of soft and silky water, lack of irritation, lack of chlorine odor, and much more. There is something about providing a "mineral pool' feeling that entices customer to go saline.
  • Green Technology: Some organizations are looking to integrate proven and green modernizations, and given the right program, making your own chlorine can can give you both.

undefined Single system replaced problematic multiple cells.

  • Less Chemical Storage: Some facilities had looked like nuclear waste dump sites, with many empty chemical containers cluttering their open spaces. Saline reduces storage requirements by over 95%, and significantly reduces liability and improves workplace safety.
  • Less Chemical Handling: Some sites require operators to transfer large amounts of chemicals from tanker to tank to jug to pool. This is TOO MUCH handling. Many customers have cut their chemical handling by the same 95%, and only handle basic salt and a small amounts of "backup" Chlorine.

undefined Salt automatically added to the pool without staining or brushing.

  • Proven: Flying against the grain, CES saline systems have 99% success rate. Sure there have been issues with poor electronic bonding, heavy phosphate pollution from the environment, and poor maintenance along the way, but (with the help of our customers) we have powered through all of these, and CES Saline systems are fully functional and making lots of chlorine.
  • Self Funding: Sure, a great saline system can cost lots of money, but it will save EVEN MORE. Many hundreds of CES customers have installed systems on a "self funding" program that help save more than it costs on a monthly basis. Not a couple of customers, but many hundreds. 
  • Be Legal: Contrary to the negative issues above, a complete legal solution is possible. That includes the proper DOH pre-engineering and permitting, and proper training and support. CES integrates the entire conversion into one cohesive package and handles every step of the way. 

undefined Seamless integration of saline and redundant systems

  • Seamless integration: The CES saline package includes a control system that provides seamless integration between the saline chlorinator and the DOH-recommended (or required) redundant feeder. The saline behaves as primary and switch back and forth to provide perfect pool water seamlessly in the event of any excessive bather load or weather event.
  • Automatic Salt addition: Along the way, we resolved that painful task of adding salt. New systems automatically monitor salinity levels, and dispense "liquid salt" to maintain the proper levels. You merely load salt into a vat, like in your home water softener.

undefined Military bases improved security by installing their own chlorine factory.

  • No Risk: There is really NO risk in making your own chlorine, as the systems are proven, legal, and they make lots of chlorine while being "green". 

 

Conclusion:

Making your own chlorine is a "Process" that require certain steps to be taken. Leaning from everyone's mistakes over the years, we have taken all the steps and have put them in a comprehensive and affordable program that makes it easier for customers to have long term success.

One customer noted that installing saline was similar to getting open heart surgery. Sure in the early years there were surely lots of failed attempts with unprepared doctors and poor results, but there are also organizations that have a highly structured and 99% successful heart surgery program with hundreds of  thousands of success stories and happy customers. You follow their program, you have great results. Not that pool are like heart surgery, but we liked his analogy! 

So, there are now more than 7,669,155 great reasons to make your own chlorine, and you can do so with complete confidence that you too will be successful.

 

CES Wifi Modules turn 3 years old, solve Communication issues

Want to join the thousands of operators that are in constant touch with their pool rooms but you don’t have any internet or Wi-Fi?. Tired of waiting for your IT department to get your communications set up? There’s no need to wait any longer. The CES Precision Communication Device (PCD) connects instantly to your Precision MR2, MR3, and BECSys3, 5 or 7, and provides your valuable pool room information and alarms on your PC, Smart Phone or Tablet. You get 24/7 monitoring and remote control of your pool operations, digital log keeping for liability avoidance, and a powerful alert notification of any out of range conditions.

You pay one low monthly cost which includes hardware, software, data, and monitoring, and you’re communicating in less than an hour. Wanna try it out first? No problem. Contact your CES Rep for a 60-day test run, and see how easy pool operation can be when you’re in touch 24/7. Precision PCD’s, coming to a lamp post near you!

New CES/Pulsar Strategy Lowers Maintenance of Feeders

CES customers have been enjoying crystal clear Pulsar water for over 20 years. Older feeders required what we felt was too much maintenance so we went back to the drawing board.

We are proud to announce that the new Pulsar Model 45's, 140's, and 500's have a target maintenance schedule of as low as 45 minutes every 3 months. We have several tweeks that we are ready to implement to help you reach your maintenance goal. Contact us at CESService@ceswaterquality.com to start the process.

Learn how these Pulsar feeders are rated to help filter out crypto.

Energy-Saving Success Stories

Last week we learned how Chase Chenoweth, Director of Fitness and Aqatics at San Jose Country Club, took direct control of his 15HP pool pump system with results that have been great.

Today, we will recap a few of the success stories directly from the customers that planned and executed modernizations along with a couple of observations and tricks that we learned along the way.
Read more...

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