All parents worry about their kids, it’s what we do. I fret every day over every aspect of my three kids’ lives. So much so, I’ve grown to accept that worry as a kind of life sentence, the price we pay for the greatest love we’ll ever experience.
In fact, my impassioned journey into water quality management has been largely driven by parental concerns, my own and those of other dads and moms everywhere. While I’ve always been focused on health and safety, those worries in and around the water came to fruition when my kids got sick using a public swimming pool and suffered some rather serious respiratory conditions.
Suffice it to say that this dad was not a happy camper. It happened in a public pool where the treatment system, or lack thereof, was completely inadequate for the large bather load. The water smelled, it looked funky, and many of the lifeguards and swimmers brought inhalers with them. It was a completely unacceptable situation. Worse yet because swimming was part of my kid’s school curriculum; we didn’t have a choice of where to swim.
In addition to the common bummer that is caring for sick children, my experience building and servicing pools and spas had already long taught me that reliable, safe water is not only attainable, it’s also essential. I kept thinking, we know how to do this and this is why! Seeing my own children needlessly compromised by pool water — my own industry — was far more than I could abide. Ever since, I’ve been a crusader for the profession of water quality management.
Worries Be Gone
The way I see it, parents have their plates piled high enough with anxiety. None need the added stress of worrying about their precious cargo getting damaged because the staff maintaining a community pool have no clue what they’re doing. As an industry, we have a professional and, dare I say, a moral responsibility to make sure those worries do not come to pass, ever!
That profound sense of responsibility resides at the core of why I’m so passionate about water quality. We owe it to parents and their children who use recreational water to set those worries aside, and we owe it ourselves to accept only perfect water quality — water that’s properly sanitized, oxidized, filtered, and balanced, always without exception or excuse.
In purely pragmatic terms, we have a choice whether we engender a future generation of aquatic enthusiasts or turn them away. The enormous upside of this choice is that we do, indeed, have the wherewithal to alleviate parental concerns. That potential is within our grasps. The technology exists, the expertise exists and, for many, the desire exists. The only thing missing is the collective force, the professional mandate, to embrace the prime importance of making water quality, and the peace of mind it delivers, our top professional priority.
I’ve seen it work time and time again. I’ve seen how parents appreciate knowing the water their kids are immersed in, sometimes for hours at a time, is safe, wholesome, and assured. That level of trust and appreciation can only be developed over time and only by way of repeated experience. But when we do earn that trust, the extraordinary results can’t be counted, only felt.
In place of the anxiety of worrying our children are being exposed to unhealthy conditions, we can provide a wholesome and reliable environment that is not only free of concern but also filled with joy and good health. That’s not too much to ask, and it’s time our industry embraces that responsibility.
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About the Author
Steve Kenny is an aquatic designer, builder, and service technician with more than 25 years of experience. Based in Long Island, New York, he specializes in designing, building, and maintaining commercial and residential pools and spas that feature the highest possible water quality.
He is a passionate advocate of creating a new class of aquatic professionals devoted to the science, methods, and art of ensuring pristine water conditions. Steve was formally trained in the culinary arts and has a passion for fine dining. He is an accomplished photographer and sailing enthusiast. He is also a passionate advocate of the benefits of hydrotherapy.
A devoted family man, Steve lives in East Hampton with his bride of 20 years and their three children.