Things you didn't know about swimming pools

By Eleanor Bailey

13th May is international Learn To Swim week!

man swimming butterfly in swimming pool
Being able to swim is a valuable skill that might just save your life – that makes swimming and water safety an important thing we should all know. With any luck you’ll never need to paddle from peril… so aside from the practical advantages of being able to out-swim Jaws, swimming’s also a really healthy activity. Did you know that it uses every major muscle group in the body? That makes swimming the most all-rounded low-impact workout!

Obviously, we like any watery topic. This particular one got us thinking about swimming pools and how water use can be more complicated than you expect. In honour of swimming, here are some things you probably didn’t know about swimming pools.

1) The first known defined stroke was the breast-stroke

2) The titanic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool

3) Pool water is never (unless there's an important reason) fully taken out or replaced
 - instead it goes through a constant filtration process. If the water level lowers, it's just topped back up again

4) A lot happens behind the scenes to treat the water, in 'plant rooms' - that's what making all the noise you hear when you walk past the building

5) The water goes through two cleaning processes - a strainer to remove the bigger items and then a filter, of things like sand or UV light, to remove smaller bacteria

6) Not all swimming pools use chlorine as part of the cleaning process. For example, if the water is being cleaned with UV light not as many chemical are needed. Some pools even use salt water!

7) Whichever way it's being done, all that cleaning is important because it helps get rid of any nasties a pool accumulates. The top 8 inches of swimming pool water contains make up, hair, sweat, shampoo, body cosmetic products and (gross warning) body fat. Luckily, it's all taken care of by these nifty processes. 

8) Public swimming pools are tested every couple of hours, to make sure the cleaning is working and that the water's PH and chlorine levels are safe

9) Even if you can't see a lifeguard, there will always be someone in a swimming pool building who is trained in pool rescue. Phew!

10) Lifeguards (who are NPLQ trained) have lots of the same skills as first aiders, so it's good to know their help isn't limited to watery worries and jumping into the pool

11) Our ancesters had swimming pools too! There are ancient Egyptian drawings from 2,500BC which show people swimming

So, has this made you feel like going for a dip? Learn To Swim Week is a great time to do it! It’s never too late to learn – many leisure centres have both child and adult swim lessons.

Why not tweet us a swimming fact of your own @waterplusb2b?

close up of blue water with ripples

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