Keep The Doors Closed


As swimmers and coaches, we have all been there…during a busy practice or meet, the air quality gets rough, and someone props open an outside door to let fresh air in. The cooler air provides relief for those near it, and some people even put fans in front of the doors to move the air further into the pool. It makes sense, right?

Wrong. But hey, when we were coaches and lifeguards, we opened doors too; we didn’t know any better. This message today is for anyone who opens doors to their indoor pool, especially in the winter time. Please stop doing it…opening doors is making the air quality worse.

It sounds odd to say that, doesn’t it? The truth is, the little bit of outside air you’re introducing into the natatorium is usually causing more harm than good, for several reasons. When it’s cold outside, the air you’re bringing in through the doors is unconditioned, and therefore adds a tremendous amount of stress on the building’s HVAC system. As swimmers and coaches, however, you probably think like we do—health is far more important than the efficiency of an HVAC system. We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and that the aquatics and HVAC industry experts have a moral imperative to deliver it to all pool users. The problem is, opening doors does far more than just stress the HVAC system…it creates more airborne pollution.

If you have read our articles on SwimSwam, you know that chloramine related air quality issues are inevitable, and caused by basic chemistry and air physics. Opening doors complicates the air physics, by encouraging faster evaporation of the pool water.  Cold air lowers the vapor pressure pushing down against the pool water, which allows for a faster rate of pool evaporation.  With more evaporation comes more chloramines, and thus begins a vicious cycle of bad air quality.

In summary, we know that opening doors makes those near it feel better, and provides some short term relief for swimmers and coaches on deck. But in reality, it’s doing more harm than good by not only stressing the HVAC system, but also increasing the rate of chloramine pollution in the air. There is a better way to handle these issues, and we encourage you to research the affects of bad air quality for yourself.

PUPN Article: Natatorium Indoor Air Quality

As you are probably aware of the damaging and harmful affects of poor IAQ in natatoriums. Difficulty breathing, watery eyes, even coughing are probably common signs to you. You might notice it from an operational aspect. Rust and corrosion, equipment breaking down more frequently than it should, constant cleaning and upkeep… All are signs of IAQ issues. The following article, printed in Private Universities Products and News magazine, explains some traditional natatorium design philosophies and how they can contribute to IAQ issues.


“Natatorium Indoor Air Quality” – Private Universities Products and News


Whiteboard Video

Did you know the truth about indoor pool air quality? Most people do not, so we created this video to share it with you. All information in this video was all found from the CDC and World Health Organization’s websites. We encourage everyone to do the research for themselves.

Why | Overview

Ask yourself: Have you ever spent more than an hour in an indoor pool… and enjoyed it?

The Paddock Evacuator Company was created in 2009 to address a growing concern in the pool industry: indoor air quality. Just like you, we have lived through the pain of having bad, unhealthy air.

  • As former owners and operators of indoor pools, we were blamed for bad air quality.  Despite doing all we could, the problems persisted. We spent money on things that did not work, and corrosion continued to get worse.  Air quality problems were stressful, costly, and very frustrating.
  • As industry professionals and pool builders, we were blamed for designing and building pools that had bad air.  The appearance and longevity of the facility and its equipment was our responsibility. When air quality became a problem, our reputations were questioned and it was embarrassing.  Bad air may not have been our fault, but it certainly became our problem.
  • As parents, coaches, and lifeguards, we had no choice but to accept bad air quality as the norm.  Despite the obvious health risks (like asthma and bronchitis), we still put ourselves and our kids through it.
  • As swimmers, when we could not perform at our best because of breathing difficulty, it was heartbreaking–especially after putting in a full season of hard work to be there.  Some of us never reached our full potential because we were held back by breathing problems.  It was incredibly disappointing.

We have lived it.  We have been there.  We understand.  That’s why we do it.

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