2014 YMCA Nationals GAC Air Quality Report Day 2: Air Remains Fresh

It’s day 2 of the 2014 YMCA Short Course National Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the air is still clear and fresh inside the pool.

Reports on deck are that the air is “even better” than night 1; of course, this could be some sort of perception bias, as there’s no good test available to measure the harmful chloramines in the air, but suffice it to say, there has been virtually no complaint that we’ve heard of through two days. On Wednesday, we’ve also been told that competitors can “smell the pool,” but that the bad air isn’t recirculating – which is the key strategy that prevents the burning eyes, the coughing, and the wheezing.

Now, a quick lesson on pool chemistry, because the situation isn’t entirely unchanged from the meet’s first day. Routine water tests done by the meet’s staff showed on Wednesday that the “combined chlorine” level in the separate warmup pool have risen since Tuesday. “Combined chlorine” is essentially cholarmines that are waterbound – they haven’t been released into the air yet. They aren’t harmful as they’re not being inhaled when they’re in the water, but they can mean pending doom for air quality.

These elevated levels of combined chlorine imply that there’s more organic matter in the pool – either sweat, or more swimmers have begun urinating in the water again.

These elevated levels imply that they should be followed by a bigger release of chlormaines, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the air felt clean. This implies that the special “major event unit” that Paddock Evacuator brought in seems to be doing its job magnificently in support of the primary installed unit.

We will continue to monitor this situation throughout the week. Keep in mind that one of the problems at Winter Juniors was that there were “dead zones” that were much worse than other areas of the pool; if you’re having a different experience than the above, let us know where in the comments and we’ll investigate further.

Paddock Evacuator is a SwimSwam partner.

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Dr. Harry Fish

Over the last couple of years I have attended meets at 4 Paddock Evacusuck facilities and haven’t seen where their VOC Level (PPM) monitor is not in excess of the poor 1600 PPM level. It’s so bad at their Charlotte Latin Swimmac facility, that they took down the monitor. Just not convinced that there is any proof that it works.

Thanks for your feedback Dr. Fish. Respectfully, results matter more than the readings on our prototype VOC meter, as it has no actual correlation to the performance of our technology. It’s kind of like a GPS system telling you you’re in a different location than you actually are. Which would you tend to believe?

Your concerns have been noted and I’m happy to address them personally. Just give me a call.


Dr. Harry Fish

True, results matter and results are measured with data. I’ll assume from this report that there is no good test available to measure… and your reply that your own meter has no coloration, to performance, therefor no scientific evidence, that I can only judge by my own experiences in Paddock facilities, which have produced the Paddock Hack.

Had there been scientific measurement capabilities prior to your first install in the GAC you would not have had a product failure at Juniors and needed to sell a second system.

Has anyone considered the equilibrium between the solvated chloramines and those in the gaseous phase. Here’s why I ask: for a pool with lots of chloramines, blowing the chloramines away would just cause more from the pool to get sucked out…. until those in the pool are all eliminated.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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