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Tips to help with our busy summer schedule

Our high school seniors will graduate this Saturday, school-age children will now be at home, swim lessons will begin next Tuesday at the recreation center, summer residents are back, and the tourists will soon be here to enjoy our high country living for awhile.

There will be a noticeable change, real soon: more folks, more cars, longer lines at the grocery store, rising mercury in the thermometer, and more users at the recreation center.

Effective next Tuesday, May 29, the pool programming schedule at the recreation center will be different. Please make a note of the changes.

Monday through Friday: 6 to 7:30 a.m. — lap swim and water aerobics; 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. — swim team; 9:30 a.m. to noon — lap swim, water aerobics and swim lessons; noon to 8:45 p.m. — open swim and lap swim. On Saturday and Sunday, the pool is available for lap swimming and open swimming from 9 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Open swim times are generally noisier and more crowded. Lap swimmers swimming these hours will have to tolerate the less than ideal conditions. If you lack tolerance for noise and rambunctious children, please try to come in before noon during the week and on weekends. Otherwise, with the lovely weather outside, a relaxing walk, bike or run in the woods will enable you to get in some cardiovascular exercise without jostling with the indoor crowd. Adjust your habits to summer’s swell of visitors.

Parents of children enrolled in swim lessons are asked to drop off their swimmers (already in swim attire) on the pool deck with the instructors and return when classes are over. Give yourself some extra time to have your child use the bathroom and shower (in that order) before handing him/her over to the instructor. Parents are welcome to be on the pool deck the last day of class to see their swimmer’s accomplishments.

Parking spaces during the summer are also at a premium at the recreation center. With high gas prices, I look forward to seeing more people replace half of the short distance auto trips with a bike or their feet. If some of our members rode their bikes or walked to the recreation center, it would help alleviate our parking lot congestion, plus that person would reap the benefits of additional cardiovascular exercise.

Some of our patrons find it aggravating that recreation center staff members are asking them to not wear street shoes on the pool deck. Our concern is the transfer of animal fecal and soil contaminants into the pool from the bottoms of street shoes.

We want our swimmers to stay healthy. We do not want them to get sick due to contact with or ingestion of contaminated water. The average adult swallows up to an ounce of water when swimming. Children usually swallow twice as much as adults.

Swimming has been historically, and is today, associated with exercise and health. Exercise that people receive from swimming and other aquatic activities provides a tremendous public health benefit for society. However, the water and sometimes the air above the water can contribute to unhealthy conditions for the bather unless proper water quality management is maintained.

Preventing our patrons from getting sick is why our pools are constantly treated with disinfectant. In addition, we take measures to reduce the transfer of contaminants into the pool water. So when we ask you to take a good shower before entering the pools and to not wear street shoes into the natatorium, please be cooperative.

This fall, when it all slows down, when the children are back in school, the recreation center pool will be converted to a salt sanitizing system. Currently, chlorine is used for sanitizing the pools and bromine for the hot tub. Salt systems are gentler on users, but will require the staff to take due measure towards prevention of corrosion to all metal in the natatorium.

Serious swimmers say salt pools are faster because of the buoyancy (saline level is about that of human tears). So, imagine the pool records that will be set.

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