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Building a large community pool where land stability is an issue

Behind the scenes

Each pool system uses two horizontal high-pressure sand filters, stacked one on top of the other.

Each aquatic feature uses underground surge tanks to hold water that is displaced by bathers getting into the pool. Should 50 people get in, for example, there is a lot of water that is not needed at that moment to keep the pool filled (as bathers are taking up this space). The surge tanks help to conserve water by eliminating the need to refill the pool after all the bathers exit the water.

The facility’s waterslides use a similar holding tank; however, in this case it is called a balance tank. It functions by holding enough water to keep the pumps primed in addition to circulating enough water to fill the pipes and slide until it is recirculating at a level that will keep it running without damaging any pumping equipment.

The lap pool, recreation pool, and waterslides all have an independent filtration system. Each pool system uses two horizontal high-pressure sand filters, stacked one on top of the other. The waterslide system only requires one filter 
of the same design. Each of the two pool’s use a valve system, which enables the operator to switch the filters simultaneously into backwash mode.

All of the bronze-fitted, epoxy-coated, close-
coupled pumps use centrifugal suction and are equipped with stainless steel shafts, and totally enclosed fan-cooled, high-efficiency motors. Each pump is connected to a variable-frequency drive (VFD) control system, which acts as a transmission for the pump, allowing it to run smoother and at the proper speed for the task at hand. This conserves energy when full power is not necessary. The facility’s original pumps, which were typical of older commercial pools, operated at one speed. This meant they were either off, or constantly running at full-speed and using way more energy than necessary.

Each system also uses a custom chemical controller that is interlocked with the VFD control system. The flow rate of each system is shown on the chemical controller’s display screen and, based on the incoming water rates, each system adds the appropriate amount of chemicals needed to keep the water sanitized and within acceptable health code ranges.

Currently, the aquatic facility does not use ultraviolet (UV) sanitation, however, the system was designed to allow it be added at a later point. UV is still more popular for indoor public pools where eliminating chloramines in the air can be more problematic.

Keller_Headshot_1Greg Keller is a service and sales representative at Acapulco Pools Ltd., a commercial pool builder and service provider based in Kitchener, Ont. He graduated from Conestoga College’s architecture–project and facility management program in 2011 and was hired by Acapulco upon graduation. He can be reached via e-mail at

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