Iron Mike's Marathon Swims The life so shorte, the crafte so long to lerne

Back in the saddle

December 16, 2016 / by ironmike

So the pool was refilled almost immediately and I’m back in the saddle. Yes, the water still turns my ears blue, no stopping that apparently. I’m still using the increasingly-bluer goggles and swim cap (no reason to ruin another MSF cap). But the few of us who regularly swim in the pool had to deal with an issue right off the bat.

Seems the Russian pool manager thought the water was too cold. The water was only 80*F.

So the first day back in the pool I see my swimming buddy Anthony, lapping away in lane #2. He always gets there a bit earlier than I do as he lives right there on the embassy, while I’ve got a 45-60 min public transportation route to complete first. He seemed to be swimming just fine, so without thinking of dipping a toe in I simply jumped…

…into 86-ish degrees of bath water. Maybe even higher. (This pool has been at 90* before.) It was just too much. Anthony came into the wall and I looked at him and he simply said, “Yeah. Right?” It was brutal. Swimming in your bath tub.

So, after my work-out I did what I also did 6 years ago, and composed an email to the management of the pool, pointing out to them the recommended temperature for indoor pools. I also pointed out the health risks of swimming in too-hot water. But mostly what got them was the info about how pool chemicals were made to work in certain temperature ranges. Seems that algae and bacteria absolutely love really warm water.

That very day I ran into the embassy’s facilities manager, who told me that the pool manager had found a way to open the lock box and adjust the water temperature. The facilities guy had to buy a new lock and institute new check-out procedures for the key. The pool manager explained that the kids were complaining the pool water was too cold. He was told to explain to their parents about how the chemicals work and ask the parents if they’d rather their children get sick from ingesting bacteria- and algae-filled pool water.

And from that day on, the water has been a pleasant (yet still too warm) 78*F.  Ah!

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