How University Aquatics Operators Can Build Swimmers’ Trust in the Next Normal
After the upheavals of 2020, the best way aquatic operators can rebuild swimmers’ trust is by acting instead of reacting. With so much unknown, how exactly are leading universities alleviating concerns?
Since the pandemic began, over 250,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported at over 1,600 colleges. With the threat of becoming another statistic, students, athletes and faculty are in desperate need of assurance and safe activities.
To welcome swimmers back to an aquatics facility that’s better, healthier and safer than how they left it, here are the top three key opportunities that aquatic operators are acting on.
1. Address Air Quality
We all use our senses to determine how safe our environment is, and swimmers and faculty don’t want to smell a pool before they see it. What swimmers once tolerated, they won’t anymore. To measure up to these new expectations, aquatics operators have to make tangible improvements that swimmers not only hear about but also experience for themselves.
As concerns over airborne disease transmission are at an all time high, leading university aquatics operators are providing cleaner, fresher air quality as a means to build swimmers’ trust. Contrary to popular belief, pools should not smell. The “chlorine” odor that lingers in aquatic facilities doesn’t even come from chlorine, but rather from chloramines (combined chlorine). Chloramines are the disinfection by-product (DBP) of chlorine interacting with organic material, like lotion, sweat or perfume. With the extended time that student athletes spend in the pool, exposure to DBPs can also cause long-term health problems, such as allergies, asthma and Lifeguard Lung.
To improve air quality and keep DBPs under control, Aquatics Director, Donna Hodgert, and other top university aquatics operators have added Clear Comfort’s Advanced Oxidation (AOP) supplemental sanitation. Beyond the capabilities of traditional pool chemicals, Clear Comfort is third-party proven to reduce up to 90 percent of DBPs.
“I would say our Natatorium is now one of the top five aquatics facilities in the nation in terms of air quality and water quality, thanks to Clear Comfort,” Hodgert said. “You definitely notice walking on the pool deck that there is absolutely no chlorine smell.”
2. Provide Gentler, Safer Water
In addition to causing a noxious chemical smell, DBPs also cause skin irritation, red eyes and dermatitis. Whether we’re in a pandemic or not, athletes want to swim in …
To learn more about how university aquatic operators can help make their staff and students more comfortable in the next normal, read the full article on Athletic Business.
Originally appeared on Athletic Business Magazine.