‘How Swimming Pool Operators can help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their pool areas and provide an indoor pool environment that allows people to have a healthy and comfortable swim in the fresh air’
Recotherm ‘Brand Leader’ Interview Podcast – Transcript to support learning
Every effort has been made to flawlessly transcribe the interview to support learning but please consider the recorded audio of the interview as the actual source of information for learning purposes.
Hi, this Mick de Leiburne for BusinessNet Explorer and welcome to this ‘Special Edition’ BNE Product News ‘Brand Leader’ Project Viewpoint podcast.
So, going for a swim in the fresh air – that sounds really healthy, doesn’t it? A combination of exercise and fresh air sounds just perfect, in fact probably highly recommended in the current situation for those fit enough to do so, but you would quite rightly picture yourself being outdoors when doing it. So, what about when the weather gets cooler, how close can Indoor Pool operators get to re-creating this healthy, hopefully ‘COVID-19 free’ swimming environment, within a building for pool users? We thought we would ask industry thought leader Martin Killen, MD at Recotherm, and a popular guest on this podcast series, if and how this can be achieved?
Martin joins us on the phone…. Hi Martin, thanks for joining us for this ‘Special Edition’ BNE Product News ‘Brand Leader’ Project Viewpoint podcast….
Thank you for inviting me Mick.
Always a pleasure…
So firstly, what is the current guidance regarding ‘indoor swimming pool ventilation’ and what is your response when an Indoor Pool operator asks for your advice regarding ‘mitigating the spread of COVID-19’ in their pool areas?
What should I do about COVID-19?
I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked that question in the last nine months!
My expertise lies in swimming pools, so any comments I make are specifically related to swimming pools. There is no specific information from the Government with regards to pools, but we can apply the Governments general guidance which has been produced, in conjunction with the CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers). You can look this up online, but the main points are: –
Wherever possible run the units on full fresh air. Run the ventilation systems for longer. When unoccupied run the systems at lower speed to keep the air moving instead of switching them off. Avoid re-circulation between rooms. Where the unit is serving a single space is less of a concern. The main objective is to avoid stagnation…
So how does this apply specifically in an indoor swimming pool environment?
Normally in a swimming pool we are serving a single area, so recirculation is acceptable. There are a lot of companies on the market that use mechanical dehumidifiers and only introduce a small amount of fresh air, indeed there are some that don’t introduce fresh air, at all. These companies will find it difficult to comply with the latest government recommendations without fundamentally redesigning their units. That is because the fresh air they have to introduce, because of COVID 19, will eliminate the need for a mechanical dehumidifier. Most of the units on the market that use mechanical dehumidification do not have any other form of heat recovery on the fresh air, so they become total loss systems discharging heat into the atmosphere.
I know you are a fresh air fan, in fact your brand is renowned to be one of the clear leaders in this technology for ventilating swimming pools. Can you tell us more about what Recotherm can offer the market as a ‘fresh air solution’ for ‘indoor swimming pool ventilation’?
At Recotherm we have always championed the use of full fresh air as the best way of dehumidifying the pool hall, so every unit we sell can bring in large amounts of fresh air. Indeed, wherever possible, we have designed our units to be able to run on full fresh air, even in the middle of winter when the ambient temperature is at its lowest.
Are there any downsides to switching to full fresh air?
There is a downside to switching to full fresh air. In the Winter the ambient air contains very little moisture so only a small amount, say 10-20%, is required to control the humidity. Under these circumstances the Recotherm units would normally reduce the amount of fresh air introduced, but if we are to stipulate that they must operate at a higher fresh air rate, then the internal humidity will drop. This will increase the evaporation from the pool and thus increase the running cost – but it also makes the wet occupants feel colder as the water on their bodies evaporates quicker.
It sounds like there is a need to strike a balance somehow – between safety and comfort?
I feel we need to be flexible. We need to increase the level of fresh air, but not to a point where we are deterring people from coming to the pool because they feel cold. It may well be that in 5 years’ time, when we have had time to analyse the data, we will find out that COVID cannot live in the swimming pool environment. But for the moment we need to err on the side of caution and increase the amount of fresh air to a level that is sustainable without affecting the daily running of the pool.
Well Martin thank you again for joining us on the BNE Product News podcast for the Construction & Building Services industry and sharing with us some of the thought leadership that drives the Recotherm brands ongoing ability to research and engineer solutions and develop products to help Pool Operators maintain an Indoor Swimming Pool environment that is just as ‘healthy’ as swimming ‘outdoors in the fresh air’. Fantastic work!
Thank you, Mick.
For more information about the Recotherm range of products – please go to www.recotherm.co.uk
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