Guest Blog: The Decline of Public Pools

June 11, 2014

Swimming is a wonderful activity. It also one of the greatest low impact therapeutic exercises available. Despite the ever-increasing demand for aquatic therapy, getting access to  deep warm water pools year round has become an endangered species. 

We were once approached by the father of a young swimmer, asking about placing one of our longer lap pools in an empty warehouse. Great idea we said, but why? “Because there are five times as many swim clubs in our area as there are heated 25m pools for them to practice in.” 

In the glory days of the 60’s and 70’s, community pools were popping up all over the place. Became a standard fixture for new communities. But over the years, the cost of operating them, maintaining them or even updating them as taxed an already over burdened governmental budget. It is no wonder why swimming is a dying sport. Ironically it is needed more now than ever. 

While access to deep warm water pools has been on a steady decline, doctor-prescribed aquatic therapy for the ever-increasing baby boomer generation has been on an incline. What once was considered a kooky remedy for ailments, is now a recognized cure for many chronic and sever ailments of an aging population. Today insurance companies have over 45 pages of ailments where aquatic therapy is a viable remedy. Yet with all this demand, the availability of year round warm water pool within driving distance is on the decline. 

New pools cost too much to build. Old pools cost too much to fix, operate or heat. Most of the community pools are so badly built they are a tremendous drain on a community’s budget. Often leaving communities with maybe only one large pool in the area to be shared by hundreds, if not thousands of users. There has to be a change. 

EZ Pool Products has worked hard to change this decline. And though we have had some great successes outside of California, here the bureaucracy is so blind to new ideas, they have yet to issue permits for over five different swim club projects we have around the state. 

We have presented evidence that our style of pool can change the dying tide of swimming, can provide needed aquatic therapy relief for the aging community, that our pool construction as a comparable alternative to the expensive, environmentally wasteful, in-ground style of the 60’s is a better choice and that we can do it for about 1/10th the cost of traditional pools. 

We live in a great state that has over 840 miles of coastline exposure to the ocean. The attraction to swim is great. But without providing more swimming pools to the public of California - we are endangering her residents as well. 

What can we do? Complain. Write to your mayor, your congressman, your governor. Urge them to look for ways to ensure that we raise a generation of swimmers and provide comfort to the aging population.

This Guest Blog courtesy of EZ Pool Products, Inc.