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Thread: CMU true 'Olympic sized' pool and pump room

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Grand Junction, Colorado, Mesa State College

    Default CMU true 'Olympic sized' pool and pump room

    Ben asked for some photos of our pool here at Colorado Mesa University, in Grand Junction, CO.
    This is a Large pool, 800,000 Gallons, 25 yards wide, and 55 meters long.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: CMU Pool and Pump Room


    I grabbed them, and am posting them. Please let me know if I got anything wrong.

    For everyone else: this is what an actual "Olympic size" pool looks like. The pool here is a very nice implemenation of a pretty standard design.

    From end to end, the pool is Olympic length -- 50 meters, or 183 feet. This is the standard distance for all international competition.

    At on each side of the picture is on one of the Maxiflex competition diving boards. This one company, Duraflex International, has completely OWNED the market for competition diving boards for at least 40 years. The original Duraflex was produced not long after WWII, using a surplus fighter wing. Most other commercial diving boards last about 5 years. But, as far as I can tell, Duraflex boards do not wear out. I've 'recycled' Duraflex boards that were 20+ years old, by refinishing them and installing them on a new pool. One such board is now on its 40th year! The last time I checked, Duraflex boards cost about 2x what other commercial boards cost . . . but last at least 5x as long!

    If you've ever watched Olympic diving, you've seen a system like this, but may not have recognized it for what it was.

    Under competition conditions, where few or no swimmers are in the pool, the pool surface can be so smooth it's hard to see. This makes it difficult for divers to judge the distance to the water's surface. From a 1 meter board, an error just screws up the dive. From a 3 meter board, an error can really hurt. But, from the 10 meter tower (not present at CMU), a serious error means a trip to the hospital, with internal injuries, and it can be fatal!

    Of course, on multi-use pools, where divers and swimmers are present simultaneously, an artificial agitation system isn't needed -- all the lap swimmers provide it naturally!

    Backwash pit in use! If the 'chloramines' or DBP's are out of control, whoever is taking pictures didn't stand there long! The fumes can be be terrible.

    CO2 pH control system, with (I think!) an ORP / pH controller on the wall behind. These beasts aren't really a good idea, but pool designers don't know that, and they do know that muriatic acid fumes can -- and HAVE -- destroyed pump rooms. The better solution is simply to use 55 gallon drums of acid, composed of one 15 gallon carboy of acid, mixed with water. This mixture has no fumes, is cheaper by far than the CO2 systems, and avoids all the problems with alkalinity.

    One of the great ironies of these systems is that they are perceived to be 'safer' than muriatic acid, but are actually far more dangerous. As Chem_Geek has pointed out to me, muriatic acid fumes are seriously unpleasant, long before they are actually a threat to life. The same is NOT true of CO2. A leak in one of these system, in a below grade pump room like the one shown, can build up CO2 to the point of suffocating an unwary maintenance worker! A DOE article, entitled HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT OF CO2, notes
    Moderate to high concentrations of CO2 are rapidly fatal in the presence of O2 concentrations <12%. CO2–related deaths have been reported for enclosed sites, such as grain silos, cargo holds of ships, composting and processing plants, deep wells, and mines. In grain silos, CO2 may commonly reach 38% and cause asphyxiation by displacement of O2 [20,27]. The cargo holds of ships have become filled with as high as 22% CO2 from fermenting produce and fresh and putrefying trash and fish [25,28]. In these cases, O2 is displaced and unconsciousness is rapid.
    The article also enumerates serious health effects of lower level exposures.

    I don't know what the yellow tank is. [Update: Mavswimmer notes that it's the CO2 mixing tank.]

    Horizontal sand filters. These filters have one advantage: they can go through a doorway. Otherwise, they are undesirable, since they are expensive and have a shallow sand bed. But, with underground pump rooms, there may be no choice.

    Large Lochinvar gas pool heaters. These cost far more per MBTUH than residential heaters, and are less efficient. But, they are big, and most pool designers don't know how to manifold residential heaters together to achieve good results. They also don't realize that the residential heaters are not 'lightweight', but are actually more durable than the commercial models.

    If the design engineers did their homework, these Paco straight centrifugal (non-self-priming) pumps have wet ends that are MUCH more efficient than anything homeowners can obtain. You can see the separate strainers just upstream of the pumps - notice all the wingnuts! Those are beasts to clean! Fortunately, on indoor pools like this one, cleaning quarterly is probably more than enough.

    UV reactor. Most likely, the UV lamps are in glass tubes that run from side to side where the blue caps are. I don't know if this unit was installed for DBP control, or for crypto.

    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-01-2012 at 08:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Grand Junction, Colorado, Mesa State College

    Default Re: CMU Pool and Pump Room

    Just posted more photos as well...
    To start our pool is actually 55m long, but we have two Stark bulkheads, each 2.5m wide that make the pool 50m. With the bulkheads the pool can be configured to two separate 25y or 25m pools. At the end of the photo of the diving board is also jumbo-tron, 2 stories wide, by 1 story tall.
    The pump room also has its own pdu ventilation system and dehumidifier. The chlorine room too has its own ventilation system.
    The box behind the co2 tanks is actually a controller for the co2 tanks, showing use which tank is being used, how much is left, and the output psi. It also includes tank heaters. The yellow tank next to it is where the co2 is mixed with the pool water before going into the pool. We also have a co2 detection system, with alert features on each entrance to the room.
    We also use muriatic acid, but in our usage, its costs more for acid than co2, if you take out the cost of the co2 system.
    The acid we use is 41%, and we connect our acid pump straight to the barrels, without mixing. I just have to wear a gas mask when changing out the barrels.
    The whole pump room except where the paco pumps are is actually above the grade of the pool deck, and at ground level. The pit where the pumps are 20’ below the pump floor, and are 5’ below the pool deck. The pumps pull water from the surge tank, and when the draining the pool can’t be used after about 5’ of water has drained. The white pump to the right of the paco pumps is our drain down pump and agitator pump. I have pics of the agitators in action, as well as one showing the strainer.
    The strainers need only be cleaned about 5 times a year, and we use a powerwasher to clean all of the lent and debris they collect.
    The sand filters allow us to only have to backwash about 6 times a year.
    The uv system, though expensive, was installed for crypto and dbp control as it allows us to keep the chlorine at about 1.6 ppm.
    Also in the picture with the sand filters, you can see the uv control unit on the wall, and our becys orp/ph controller.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: CMU true 'Olympic sized' pool and pump room

    WOW!! I would have never imagined. I'll never complain about the cost of my pool anymore.... :-)
    18' X 32' / 3.5' x 5' x 4' / Plaster / Hayward SWG / Hayward Tri-Star 2spd / Hayward C4025 Cartridge / 13,500 gallons / 5 supply jets / 2 skimmers 1 floor drain

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