This year started with a sigh of relief when we saw the end of the Covid restrictions in pools. We marked this with the launch of the post-pandemic PWTAG Code of Practice, providing updated guidance for running pools. The changes to the previous Code are also listed separately, on the website, alongside the new Code.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the year ends with the global problem of chlorine shortages (showing that panic buying isn’t just about toilet rolls and pasta) and escalating energy costs. So pool closures are threatening once more.
Membership has increased steadily with a total of 24 Industry Forum member organisations, 22 Council organisations and an increasing number of individual members. For the first time we welcomed to the Council a new individual members’ representative, Robin Mitchell.
Four technical notes have been published during the year:
- Understanding and determining the importance of the active free chlorine content of the free chlorine test.
- Combined chlorine – understanding it and getting rid of it.
- Gas monitoring in the plant room.
- Extending pool use.
A significant initiative was the launch of the first in a series of substantial guidance notes. Net zero carbon pools deals in some detail with the energy management issues involved in running and operating pools. We also published the second in the series of our hot tub booklets, Hot tubs for home, which will help the domestic market in their marketing and safe operation.
Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many colleagues who have generously contributed their time and expertise, working on these publications. PWTAG is fortunate to be able to call on a unique range of experts.
We staged a second online conference – The future for pools – again, a great success. There were contributions from professors, researchers and other pool experts in Holland, Scotland, Wales and England. As ever, it was illuminating to see how other countries are looking to design and operate pools. Of particular interest was the first Dutch public pool to operate without chlorine; we are following their results with interest.
This June saw the first in a series of PWTAG webinars – Cryptosporidium – free to members and well attended. These will continue throughout the year.
It has been clear for as long as PWTAG has been running – it will be 40 years in 2024 – that it’s vital, unbiased work should be publicly supported. Recently we have been trying to persuade government that the recent threats to public pools make this more important than ever. The response has been slow and unsatisfactory so far, but we will not give up.
Meanwhile PWTAG will continue to publish relevant, up-to-date guidance on swimming pools, spas and hydrotherapy pools. None of this would be possible without the invaluable contributions of our members and their organisations, our administration at Swim England and our editor Brian Guthrie. Thank you all.
Janice Calvert, PWTAG Chair