Wilson’s Essential Pool & Spa News

Volume 6 Issue 3  |  March 2018

Section 1 – ISPE endorsed pool plant training chosen by Indian life saving society

Yet another wish ticked off of my bucket list, travelling to India and experiencing the vivid culture there. Another bonus was to work again with Chlorine gas, something I haven’t done since 1981. Two courses spread over the week with delegates from various pools, generally 50 metres in length. Thanks to Yusuf Chudesra for giving me the chance to work in India and the society’s president, Rear Admiral PD Sharma & his lovely wife, Kavita for inviting me into their home for dinner.

Section 2 – Can you afford not to invest?

Help Us Now !! Who you going to call?

It’s 7.00 am and your pool is just opening for the day and your staff are experiencing a pool problem. Can you deal with it? Well we can! Get them to phone Allen Wilson, because this is his field and he can give them expert and accurate advice. So let Studies In Work take the strain whilst you enjoy your deserved leisure time, maybe have a little lie in or even watch a bit of Jeremy Kyle for an hour because you know things are ‘sorted’. What will it cost? The costs of the phone call plus £2.00 per week per pool (+ VAT). If your staff cannot open your pool what will this cost in loss of good will, loss of income plus any resultant bad publicity. What other benefits are there if you sign up? Ongoing updates on pool and spa issues in an easy to understand format. Studies In Work are public liability and professional indemnity insured. All staff are leisure management and/or H&S qualified.

We’re all you need to know!

Studies In Work H& S Consultants
90 Tuffley Crescent, Gloucester, England, GL1 5NE
Call us now on 01452 417533 or 07885 615547
Email Allen on [email protected]

Model COSHH assessments and simplified handling sheets for sale

Sodium Hypochlorite £12.00 + VAT
Calcium Hypochlorite £12.00 + VAT
Trichlor £12.00 + VAT
Dichlor £12.00 + VAT
PAC £12.00 + VAT
Aluminium sulphate £12.00 + VAT
Sodium Bisulphate £12.00 + VAT
Hydrochloric acid £12.00 + VAT
Filter media new & used £12.00 + VAT
CO2 £12.00 + VAT
Pool water testing tablets £12.00 + VAT
Bacteria developed from processes £12.00 + VAT
WD40 £12.00 + VAT
Zeoclere £12.00 + VAT
Jollygel £12.00 + VAT
Cryptosporidium £12.00 + VAT
Giardia £12.00 + VAT
Acanthamoeba £12.00 + VAT
Or only £139.00 + VAT for all of the above. Payment by BACs or PayPal is preferred Other substances by request. These will be supplied electronically and the purchaser will need to enter some site specific details such as supplier’s address and emergency contacts. Ideally the simplified chemical handling sheets should be laminated and displayed wherever these substances are used, stored or handled. Studies In Work can, if you so wish, visit your site and carry out a COSHH and risk audit of your premise, Just contact Allen on 07885 615547 or by email to [email protected]

Section 3 – Great old baths to reopen in Bristol

Public swimming and fitness facilities will return to unused Grade II-listed baths in Bristol after Fusion Lifestyle beat off competition from bidders to acquire the lease. The future of Jacob’s Wells Baths was secured as Bristol City Council granted a long-term lease to the operator, a registered charity. Fusion will repair and redevelop the baths, reintroducing public swimming and adding health and wellness facilities including studios for dance and group exercise activities. The site will also feature a community cafe with space for meetings and activities. “It’s been over 40 years since the public was able to swim at Jacob’s Wells Baths, but we’re excited by the opportunity to breathe new life into a much cherished local building,” said Tim Mills, Fusion’s director of business development Councillor Asher Craig, cabinet member for communities, said: “The plans I’ve seen for the building set out a strong community-focused offer that I’m sure will benefit the residents and those from further afield. Allen added; “In 1979, I went there to see a filter with a motorised agitation system, a relic from the past.”

Section 4 – WHO: South Africa dealing with ‘largest ever’ Listeria outbreak

South Africa is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of Listeriosis in its history with more than 700 cases already reported. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described it as the biggest outbreak in the world. Eastern Cape Department of Health spokesman, Sizwe Kupelo, warned residents of the metro to boil water before drinking it saying that it is a precaution as the source of the infection is not yet known. We are still awaiting municipal comment on the safety of the drinking water. and those from further afield. The number or reported cases is approximately 700 with more than 70 deaths Allen says: “Listeria is ubiquitous in many countries and is primarily
transmitted via the oral route after ingestion of contaminated food or drink products. The organism then penetrates the intestinal tract to cause systemic infections. The diagnosis of Listeriosis requires the isolation of the organism from the blood and/or the cerebrospinal fluid [CSF]Def; a fluid that acts as a shock absorber for the brain. Treatment includes prolonged administration of antibiotics, primarily ampicillin and gentamicin, to which the organism is usually susceptible. The elderly , pregnant and young and those with compromised immunity system are at the highest risk. A level of 6.0mg/l Chlorine will eliminate this, alternatively for food, thermal sterilization in temperatures of 150O C plus. Water if suspect should be boiled prior to use. In the UK food rather than water would be the threat. Although it is virtually unknown in UK but I do have a few readers in the African & Asian continents. Thank you to Joseph James Whitworth for some of this information also the World Health Organisation (WHO) , the University of Ghana and last but not least, Martin Seccombe, our man in South Africa.

Section 5 – Legionnaires disease awareness seminar in Hereford

Delegates above at a Legionnaires seminar at Sophie House, Hereford. Where Health & Safety manager, Pete Griffiths said, “Many thanks Allen once again for a fantastic session. Everyone left with a lot more knowledge than what they came with!” Allen said, “A great bunch of guys and a pleasure to work with. Awareness of Legionnaires disease is a legal requirement under HASAWA, MHSW Regs and Control of substances hazardous to health. This is of paramount importance, especially where residents may require special care. I wish they would make those blue overshoes a bit bigger!”

Happy delegates on Romford, Essex PPO

When I was a kid I wanted to be a bus driver!

Being driven around Delhi, I can only compare to the adrenaline rush of bungee jumping. The sheer volume of cars, motor bikes, tuk tuks etc. coming at you from all directions, without any apparent prioritisation, left me breathless. My driver (not pictured) appeared unconcerned and concentrated on threading his way through the traffic whilst picking his nose, talking on his mobile and sounding his horn continuously. If this should become an Olympic sport he would certainly be amongst the medals.

Section 6 – The not so good ol’ days

Many years ago I was asked to do risk Assessments on an indoor and outdoor pool in the South west, I won’t be any more specific
than that. It was a holiday park and was just opening for the season. The first person I met there was an old engineer/maintenance
person who was full of crap. To save time I took an instant dislike to him. The site manager was a bright young guy, very switched on and knowledgeable. We walked around the promenade of the indoor pool wearing our blue overshoes (and other clothing I would add) and discussed what we hoped to achieve. Whilst we we were chatting the old maintenance geezer came onto the poolside and proclaimed to us that he was going to check the pools chlorine level. He dropped a DPD no 1tablet into the water and watched it dissolve. Now I will allow this. Dropping and observing a DPD No 1 will indicate whether or not there is Chlorine , or Bromine present, but that’s about all it will do . He looked up and shouted across the pool to the manager and me, “about 1.75 ppm.” “Listen to that stupid clown” I told the manager. “What my Dad?” said the Manager. I then resigned myself to the fact that this would probably be my last job for this customer
Later that day I went to the outside pool and found the engineer removing the winter cover.

The water was green and cloudy as expected. Obviously the manager had not passed on my opinion of his dad as he appeared to wish to still to want be my mate. He informed me, “You have a look at this tomorrow, it will be crystal clear”. He indicated a drum of Chlorine tablets. “I will get some of these in through the skimmer and let it circulate for a few hours. Then turn off the circulation and put some floc in with a watering can. Let it settle and then vacuum up all the bits off the bottom.” Opening his chlorine tablets drum he found just one 75mm tablet in there. I thought he’s not gonna do much good with just one tablets. “no problemo” he informed me in a crap Bart Simpson accent He pulled from his overalls a Nokia 3310 and called someone from a nearby pool. With the gob he had on him why he even needed a phone, I don’t know and his conversation was on the following lines. “Get your boy to bring me down some chlorine tablet, three will be plenty. Tell him to bring them dreckly”. Aka Directly and means straight away in that part of the UK.

Ten minutes later a lad on a Kawasaki Ninja turns up with a happy meal box (I’m loving it) stuck inside his leather jacket containing three 75 mm chlorine tablets. To explain, although you probably know, these tablets are off-white with a strong smell of chlorine.  What I also need to explain is that the ol’ engineer had calcium Hypochlorite tablets and the Ninja warrior has brought down three 75mm Trichloroisocyanurate acid tablets, These two tablets Calcium hypo with a pH of between 10 and 11 and Trichloroisocyanurate acid with a pH of less than 3.0 should never be mixed. I feel I need to explain, when carrying out RAs I use a video camera and in that far off days I was using a JVC with a small cassette in it. As I walked around the pool videoing and recording my comments I watch the Chuckle brothers performing at the other end of the pool. They removed the skimmers and dropped the four 75mm tablets inside and replace the lid. By now I am at the deep end of the pool commenting on inadequate signage being, or not being displayed.

I hear a hissing noise and believing the video tape has jammed I quickly turn it off. The hissing noise continues and I try and as I work out which one of my ears is working best. I spot the chuckle brothers staring down at the access lid on the pool promenade where a white cloud is billowing out of the 25mm hole in the plastic lid. All of a sudden the lid erupts and disappears up into space. I think how high is that lid gonna go when I am distracted by the open mouth of skimmers complete with an artistic surround of mosaic tiling burst forth from the side of the pool and doing a passable imitation of a Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb shoots up the pool towards me, before sinking gracefully into the depths of the still green murky water. There was nothing wrong with my camera, the hissing I heard, was from the explosive chemical reactions between two chemicals with radically different pHs. If I had kept my camera going I could have shown you what actually happened and got £250.00 off ‘You’ve been framed’ A video of this is available on my website at www.studiesinwork.co.uk Join the 136,000 + recent

Section 7 – Happy delegates at Richmond villages, Derbyshire

Pool & Spa Plant Operator’s courses are great, but what is even better is finding out that you have passed the end of course examination. Studies In Work believe that the most important questions are not the ones the delegates have got right, but the ones they have got wrong. Following the examination the delegate are involved in an intensive debriefing of the course ensuring it did achieve what they needed for their jobs. In the picture, Steve Burke celebrates with the delegates.


Section 8 – You wrote

Hi Alan,
I hope your are well and enjoying 2018 so far. I work in Kent as a maintenance engineer and I attended your pool training sessions
last year in Essex. We have a problem with the total alkalinity levels which neither we nor the pool experts can fathom out. We back wash the pool every Monday and Thursday and measure the Alkalinity, Calcium, and TDS every Tuesday. Alkalinity should be somewhere between 80 and 120 but is rarely above 40. We have tried raising the alkalinity by shock dosing the pool which raises the levels slightly but are back to under 40 within a day or so. Today our Pool experts came in to do normal monthly checks and they used their equipment and measured the pool and the water supply to the pool. Their results were above 300 for the supply and 70 for the pool. According to us and them all other aspects of the pool are within spec. If the supply is well above the ideal levels and we shock dose the pool with pH increaser, why are we having so much trouble maintaining the Alkalinity between 80 and 120. I do a water balance calculation every Tuesday and the balance is usually about – 0.1 Any ideas? VT

Allen says:
Hi, You may remember from your course or even by referring to your manual that the substance to raise total alkalinity levels is
Sodium Bicarbonate AKA TA increaser. You say you are using pH Plus which is Sodium Carbonate and as it says ‘on the tin’ it is to
raise the pH not the total alkalinity. I am surprised that your ‘pool experts’ did not advise this. Let me know how you get on once
you switch to TA increaser. Another alternative is to possibly use CO2 as the pH correctant. Give my regards to Vicky. Regards Allen

Section 9 – Near drowning at Accrington’s Hyndburn Leisure Centre

A HORRIFIED woman is calling for a pool to be shut down after a five-year-old girl had to be ‘brought back to life’ after she got into difficulty during a swimming lesson. A horrified onlooker said she witnessed Lexi Jackson’s body  ‘convulsing and jerking under the water’ while parents screamed for someone to ‘get her out’. The mother of two said she had been watching her six-year-old daughter’s swimming lesson at Hyndburn Leisure Centre on Thursday when she heard the screams of parents watching from the public gallery.

She said: “I was sat upstairs with my son when I heard horrific screaming from the balcony. “I saw people leaning over the upstairs viewing balcony shouting to lifeguards and teacher to get her out, get her out. “I looked down at the pool and one of the children was convulsing under the water, all her body jerking and the staff were doing nothing. “The lifeguards and teacher were just stood talking.” “There was a child in the swimming lesson who was drowning while they were stood there. From reading the various reports it seems that the correct action was taken by the staff once they became aware of the situation Now, as always, the blame game will start. What is needed in independent investigation of what happened, an investigation, not by the centre or the local authority or even by the HSE, but by an independent person. Last year, two teaching assistants , were handed 12-month conditional discharges at Leicester Crown Court for their role in a near-tragedy, at West Gate School, in Glenfield Road, on January 27 2016. Will this be judged similar and will action follow.

At Studies In Work we have access to personnel such as this and will be more than willing to do this. Hopefully in this way we can, maybe not eliminate accidents & incidents, but certainly reduce them.

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Leisure Centre stated: “Just before 5pm on Thursday 25th January, a child got into difficulty in the learner pool during a swimming lesson and the team initiated a rescue. She was pulled to safety by a lifeguard. The pool alarm was sounded and more staff arrived to provide assistance. An ambulance was called immediately whilst staff performed CPR at pool side. During the rescue, a customer identified herself as an Accident and Emergency Nurse and offered assistance with CPR, which of course we accepted. Staff continued to assist with CPR as well as safely evacuating the pool hall. The child was revived and was conscious when
paramedics arrived. CCTV shows that there was one minute ten seconds between the first child in the group entering the pool to start an activity, and the girl being rescued by a lifeguard.”

Allen says: “I believe that the centre should be applauded for the way in which it dealt with this situation!”

Section 10 – This month’s Hall of shame entry

When clowns try to build a steam room! Photos show domestic bathroom adhesives and grouts that have been used on a commercial steam room . Steam rooms need to be more water tight than a pool when built correctly. This Room will need to be stripped back to bare walls and ceilings and then dried out and lined and then hydro-isolated before tiling with epoxy swimming pool grade adhesives and grouts and only then re opened as a correctly constructed wellness Steam Room .

Then and now!

I featured the picture (below left) in last month’s magazine. It shows, from the left; Ian, yours truly and Steve, taken 23 years ago. On the right is a recent picture of the three of us and time has not been kind to any of us, but as this photo shows, at least I kept most of my hair!

How politics works!

I told my son “You will marry the girl that I choose”
He said, “NO!”
I told him, “She is Bill Gates’ daughter.”
He said, “OK.”
I called Bill Gates and said, “I want your daughter to marry my son.”
Bill Gates said, “NO.”
I told Bill Gates, My son is the CEO of World Bank.”
Bill Gates said, “OK.”
I called the President of World Bank and asked him to make my son the CEO.
He said, “NO.”
I told him, “My son is Bill Gates’ son-in-law.”
He said, “OK.”

And that is how politics works.

Up and coming courses!

Sittingbourne Kent Spring 2018 two day date TBA. Revalidation delegates to attend second day only. Wokingham 21st March 2018 one day introductory and revalidation.

Contact Anne Coffey on 0118 974 6875

East Sussex Spring 2018 two day course12th & 13th March 2018. Revalidation course 14th March.

Shrewsbury 15th-16th March PPO Two day course Revalidation delegates to attend second day only.

Contact Geoff Stafford on 07985745804

To organise your own courses PPO PSPO COSHH risk assessment etc. contact Allen on 07885 615547 or at [email protected]


Section 11 – Canada moves closer to asbestos ban

The Canada Gazette, the government’s official newspaper, published the proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations on 6 January for a 75-day public consultation A spokesperson from Environment and Climate Change Canada told IOSH Magazine the government would consider comments during the development of the final regulations, which will be published in the Canada Gazette in the autumn. Canadian public health campaign group Asbestos.com reports that asbestos exposure is the primary cause of occupational death in the country. Since 1996, asbestos-related disease has accounted for around one-third of workplace deaths, it says. In December 2016, the Ottawa government launched a strategy to ban asbestos and products containing it by 2018. As part of this, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada proposed new regulations that would prohibit, with a few exclusions, the use, sale, import and export of the material and products containing it, as well as the manufacture of products with asbestos content. The government added that the risks related to the continued use of and sale of legacy asbestos and products with asbestos – such as those used in buildings, equipment and vehicles – would continue to be managed by existing federal, provincial and municipal rules and regulations. Canada supplied 40% of the world market for chrystotile asbestos in the 1960s but its last mine shut about seven years ago. Chrysotile asbestos has been a significant contributor to asbestos-related illness and death in the north American continent.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to six minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibres that can be separated into thin, durable threads for use in commercial and industrial applications. These fibres are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been used widely in many industries. Additional asbestoslike minerals are found in the natural environment, Chrysotile asbestos is the form that has been used most widely in commercial applications.

Asbestos Awareness seminar Course aims: With the regulation, Control Asbestos Regs 2007 identifying that 10 persons die each day in the UK from asbestosis and that four million workers are still at risk from the substance this session is designed to raise awareness of the issues in the workplace.

Course covers:

  • What is asbestos?
  • History
  • The law
  • Installations that present a risk
  • Assessing the risk
  • Control measures: frequency & action
  • what we should be doing
  • The Duty holder and the responsible person


£250.00 each seminar
(£400.00 for two on same day) + £20.00 per delegate Inc. registration, course notes and certification plus incurred travel expenses + VAT

Other half day seminars available include:

  • Legionnaires disease awareness
  • Water testing for pools and spas
  • steps and ladders, etc.

Section 12 – The Niagara or Nautilus bath

In my earlier book ‘Wilson’s essential pool and spa plant handbook’ I featured an advert for this early form of cleansing. Recently when visiting a ‘free to enter’ Museum adjacent to Stroud Leisure Centre, I spotted the real thing on display and wanted to share it with both of you. (no I don’t mean share the bath with you). The one I found the advert (pictured right) for originally, was made in Inchbrook near Stroud, Gloucestershire and it was only four quid, probably less than a pint at the Ricoh, Coventry. I would have plumped for the Nautilus as it was local to me, but more important it’s advert showed the price plus it was only £3.80 for cash so start saving up now!

Your letters

One of our clients with a pocket 4mx2m holiday let house pool is being told by her insurance that she must have a lifebelt. She already has a life hook there already but they are stipulating it in the small print. I said she is best getting a soft version one to avoid an insurance loop hole in the small print May be worth covering in your magazine to check insurance demands right or wrong to ensure operators no matter how small the pool that they don’t lose their cover in the event of an incident . Richard Bishop M.I.S.P.E.

Allen Says: “Although a risk assessment is necessary it may not identify the need for a lifebelt, I would however advocate the purchase and supply of one. There are other devices available that the insurance companies are probably unaware of, that the risk assessment may identify a need for. I take on board Richard’s comments; check the small print on policies. Aren’t we all guilty of simply ticking Terms and Conditions boxes. I actually declined a travel insurance policy recently as I was only going away for a week and it would have taken long than that to read the onerous terms and conditions attached”

Intoxicated tourists may not win insurance claims!

A tourist who hit his head after “drinking all night” was refused travel insurance cover, an ombudsman has said. Yet, another man who slipped over in a nightclub’s toilets after a drink while on holiday should have been covered. The cases have been featured by the financial ombudsman to highlight the small print and rules surrounding travel insurance disputes. The Financial ombudsman t said tourists should not be expected to have been sober to win a claim. The burden of proof was on the insurer to prove that too much drinking was to blame. Many insurers have a clause in travel insurance policies that means cover is refused if the policyholder’s accident was caused by excessive alcohol.

Section 13 – New Banksy stencil on Hull bridge

No apologies for this in the magazine as I’m a big Banksy fan, so live with it! This stencil was found on a disused bridge in Hull late in January. Although unsigned, ownership was shared on Banksy’s official Instagram account . Hull Conservative Councillor John Abbott said Banky’s work did not compare with “real art” in the city gallery. “I think that should be cleaned off. It should be photographed and the photograph kept because Banksy is not without talent,” said Mr Abbott.

Allen says: “I think Mr Abbott should get out more and if he feels that strongly, perhaps he should have got off his butt and done something about the poor quality graffiti that adorned the bridge prior to Banksy’s improvement.”


118th One-Day Seminar
Date: Thursday 8th March 2018
Venue: The Watermill Hotel, London Road, Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 2RJ


10.00 a.m. Coffee on Arrival
10.30 a.m. Welcome – ISPE President John Cheek, FISPE
10.35 a.m. Details of Pool Hall Design for the Wet Environment Graham Kneale, FISPE
11.15 a.m. Automatic Dosing Controllers and the methods of chlorine measurement Lesley Hipkiss, TnISPE
12.15 p.m. The importance of ISPE Endorsed training Allen Wilson, FISPE, Tech IOSH
12.45 p.m. Pay Bar
1.00 p.m. Lunch followed by Coffee
2.00 p.m. The Importance of Backwashing Jimmy Lamb, TnISPE(Cert.)
2.45 p.m. Swimming Pool Covers – How to maximise Savings Will Dando, FISPE
3.15 p.m. Pipework Installations – Problems and Pitfalls John Cheek, FISPE
3.45 p.m. Open Forum
4.05 p.m. Close John Cheek, FISPE


ISPE Students – £50
ISPE members (all other categories) – £60
Non-members – £80.

Today’s seminar

Graham will look at details of the pool hall design and in particular, the areas that builders and architects will be unaware of, and what you need to tell them. Lesley will look at the Automatic Controller Chlorine Measurement methods and suitable applications. Allen will look at endorsed training and explain why training must be meaningful, and cover both best practice and legal compliance. Jimmy will look at why achieving correct backwash flow rates is important and what are the ramifications of an insufficient backwash. Will ’s presentation will show how to choose and fit the correct type of floating cover to maximise savings. John will look at what can go wrong, & cover topics such as pipe sizing, two main drains and other issues, where problems arise when the job is not correctly specified or carried out. There will plenty of opportunity for open discussion and questions during the day.

Section 15 – Things my Mum and dad said to me

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning in here.”
My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t shape up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
My Mother taught me LOGIC.
” Because I said so, that’s why.”
My mother taught me MORE LOGIC
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not coming to town with me.”
My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re hit by a bus.”
My father taught me IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
“Just you look at that dirt behind your ears!”
My mother taught me about WEATHER.
“your bedroom looks as if a tornado has hit it.”
My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”
My mother taught me about COSMETIC SURGERY .
“I’ll wipe that smile of your face!”
My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of unfortunate children who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”
My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”
My father taught me HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your cabbage, you’ll never grow up.”
My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”
My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”
My father taught me about JUSTICE .
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”
My mother taught me about BACTERIA.
“Pick that toast and jam off the floor before the bugs get it (a.k.a. the 10 second rule)”

Section 16 – ISPE application form

Application for Membership
Please complete ALL sections of this form in block capitals AND complete the CV overleaf

The ISPE needs you

Only £25.00 joining fee!