Press-Republican

Health

January 10, 2013

Wellness Center pool temp change linked to safety

PLATTSBURGH — The water in the Wellness Center at PARC swimming pool fluctuates between 82 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit as a safety measure for all pool users.

The temperature had been set at as high as 88 degrees, but officials feared that was much too warm and unsafe for people who use the pool for regular exercise programs.

“We did discover some months ago that the temperature the pool was being kept did not meet the guidelines established by several organizations for multi-use pools,” said Christine Meister, director of rehabilitation services for CVPH Medical Center.

“The water temperature has to be at a safe temperature for the various types of members who use the pool.”

FINDING A BALANCE

The American Red Cross suggests 78 degrees is an ideal pool temperature for competitive swimmers while 80 to 84 degrees is more appropriate for the average swimmer who is interested in completing laps for exercise and for other aerobic activities.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends water temperatures between 83 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit for aquatic therapy.

“We do recognize that some people are discontented (with the decision to change the pool temperature), but we chose 83 degrees because it is still in the range recommended by the Arthritis Foundation,” Meister said.

“With so many thousands of gallons of water, it is hard to keep the pool exact, but we are able to keep it within that range.”

Officials also cannot adjust the pool from morning to evening to meet the needs of different users, Meister added, noting that it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to raise and lower the temperature of such a large amount of water.

“The only way other centers can accommodate users (who require different pool temperatures) is by having mutual pools, each with their own specific temperature,” she said.

AQUATIC THERAPY ELSEWHERE

Officials feared the higher temperatures were creating an unhealthy environment for many users.

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