It's summer. It's hot, it's muggy. You could really use
something to do to cool down. After all, you can only take off a
finite amount of clothing, and rubbing ice all over yourself is
You know what would be awesome right about now? A nice swim in the
What do you mean there's no lake anywhere near here? What about the
river? ... Polluted, huh? Well, I guess we're S.O.L.
Not so fast my friend, that's why we invented Swimming
Swimming pools are artificial pools of water designed so humans
can swim in them. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from
slightly larger than a hot tub, to an olympic regulation sized swimming pool
(50m long, wide enough to accommodate a number of lanes for swimmers,
generally about 25m wide.)
You can have pools that are built above ground, or inground, built into a
hole excavated in the ground. They will often have a shallow end, and a deep
end, with the shallow end being shallow enough that some children will be
able to have their feet touching the ground and still having their nose
above the water. Generally about 1 metre deep. The deep end may be only
slightly deeper, or it may be deep enough that you can safely dive into it
from a high dive. Deepest I've seen is about 10 metres, but I'm sure there's
much deeper out there.
You can have indoor or outdoor pools, and you can have pools built in
funky shapes like a guitar.
There are two main types of pools. Personal backyard pools, and public
pools. Let's focus on the backyard variety first.
Having a pool in the backyard is awesome. You've got a nice place to
relax when it's hot out, swimming is great exercise, and you're going to
be a lot more popular than you were before. And trust me, you could use a
few more friends.
There are of course a few things to consider before getting yourself a
pool. The first to consider would be how often would you use it. I myself
live in a vast barren wilderness known as "Teh Canada", where the
daily high temperature is -50C more than 300 days a year.
Therefore, the pool would generally only be usable between the months of
May and September. I would therefore get a lot less use of out my pool than
a person who lived in Southern California, or anywhere else that generally
has Hot to Mild temperatures year round.
The next factor to consider is the cost. A low end, pre-fabrication above
ground fiberglass pool will still probably set you back about $4000 USD.
Start looking at excavation, for an in ground pool, and you're probably
looking at about $20,000 USD, with the costs increasing if you want a larger
pool, a custom design, or have any adverse ground conditions that may make
digging more difficult. You can pretty much spend as much money as you want
on a pool, with increasing size, quality, and fancy features. I want a swim
If you want your pool to be heated, that's also gonna cost you, the price
of the heater, plus another $60 - $100 USD a month, in addition to about $20
USD a month for electricity to run the pump, and about $400 USD a year for
cleaning supplies to make sure your brand new pool doesn't grow algae.
And, next off, do you have kids? Kids love pools. They get to splash and
play in them and it's all a grand old time.
They also have a nasty habit of drowning in them.
In the United States, there are over 375 annual drownings of
toddlers in residential pools. More than 2700 are hospitalized.
That's in kids under the age of 4 *only*. So, if you have children, or if
you will *ever* have children over at your house, you need to build a fence
around that sucker. One that they can't get through. In many places, it's illegal to have a pool without a proper fence around it. It only takes a minute
for a kid to slip into the pool, and if that happens when you're not
watching and can get them out right away, then they *will* die if they do
not receive immediate medical attention. Even if your kid manages to avoid
drowning, there is serious risk of permanent brain damage due to oxygen
Children need *constant* supervision when in or around the pool. If you don't listen to me on
this, I will punch you in the face. Hard.
That's about all I can think of to say about backyard pools. Oh yeah, and
don't pee in them.
And then there's public pools. They don't necessarily need to be owned by
the government, although quite a number are, mostly by the municipal
government. They're also likely to be owned by the fitness club, the
Y, the local University, or any number of
First off, they are far more likely to be indoor pools, and are more
likely to have a deep end, and to be a lot bigger. The two main differences
are that they are quite likely to have a trained lifeguard on duty at all
times, and of course the public changing rooms, with their
communal showers, tiny little lockers to shove your clothes into, and the
They will often offer scheduled swimming lessons for all ability
levels, so it would seem to be a good idea to start out at a public pool and
work your way up to getting your own. That's about all I can think of to say
for public pools. Oh yeah, and don't pee in them.
To sum it up, if it's warm where you live and you can afford it, getting
a pool can be great. Just be sure to be safe with them. If
it's not warm enough to justify buying your own, go to the pool at the
Y or something. I'm sure there's probably at least one near you that
you can swim in for a nominal fee.
Or go to the lake. That's fun too.