Nightmare on Pool Street: Pumpkins in the Pool

In Blog, daily lfe by Cathy Erntson

Pumpkins in the pool?

The chill in the air is returning and everywhere you look are signs of ghosts and goblins, heralding in that most wonderful time of year, Halloween! More and more, pools are figuring out ways to include more groups into the local pool and more ways to celebrate the seasons. Our spookiest of holidays is no exception. Many pools have started “pumpkin picks” where children are invited to come in the pool to pick their perfect Jack-o-lantern. But for all the fun, there is still some work on the back end for operators to consider when having such Spooktacular event.

We all know where veggies come from, from our bountiful farms. But do you really REALLY think about it? Those pumpkins have sat in a field for months soaking up the sun and fresh air. But they have also likely been fertilized. Some of these fertilizers are expensive and complex chemical formulations and others are old school….manure! Either way, you can bet the pumpkins had exposure to some form of fertilizer. Fertilizers of all types, both natural and produced, have nitrates and phosphates in them. This is perfect food for something scarier than the worst of monsters, algae. Part of how we keep algae in check is to ensure that our water is not feeding any blooms.

The easiest way to remove this issue from the equation is simple; give the pumpkins a bath before tossing them in the pool! There are many fruit and veggie cleaners out there now that we are becoming more aware of the toxicity on the surface of our foods. And most that I have come across are all natural, easily attainable (produce section of the local grocery store) and do an excellent job of removing not only dirt but wax residues as well. If you have been dealing with active algae blooms, I would take it a step further and use a maintenance dose of your preferred algaecide before your event, just to ensure you have an extra layer of protection in the water.

Special events are a great way to get the folks of your community into the pool, even those who normally don’t swim on a regular basis. Granted, many facilities are still grappling with COVID restrictions so of course, any event at your facility should adhere to your local COVID restrictions. Along with following social distancing rules, with just a little extra prep and caution, a pumpkin pick in the pool event can be fun for everyone, operators included! So, don’t be spooked away by a bad experience, be sure to prep ahead and you’re bound to have a howling good time.