Indoor Vs Outdoor Swimming

The indoor v’s outdoor swimming debate is as old as the pineapple on pizza debate.

Whilst for swimming spectators the lure of a controlled environment may be the deciding factor when choosing a swim school, there are other factors to consider.

That Chlorine Smell

We are all familiar with the smell of chlorine. The smell provides us with reassurance to our senses that the pool is clean and sanitised.

Chlorine is a disinfectant that does an important job sanitising pool water from the ikk factor of urine, sweat, dirt, saliva and the by products of having large volumes of humans in a contained body of water.

The smell that we associate with a chlorinated pool is not actually the chlorine itself but the chlorine reacting with pool contaminates.

A strong smell of ‘chlorine’ means two things. Poor quality ventilation and or a high degree of contaminates.

By Products of Chlorination

Dichloramine is a by product of the chlorination process. An excess of dichloramine in a poorly ventilated enclosed environment may result in irritated eyes and nasal passages.

Trichloramines are another by product that occur when contaminates rise in a pool facility. Poor ventilation results in vapours remaining trapped degrading the air quality.

Swimmers exposed to excessive trichloramines may experience asthmatic reactions and respiratory issues.

Salt Water Pools are also chlorinated

Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt as a store for the chlorination system.

The salt chlorinator uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt to produce hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite which are the sanitizing agents commonly used in swimming pools.

As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilises added salt and a chlorine generator instead of the direct addition of chlorine.

Outdoor venues

Outdoor swimming pools have the benefit of natural ventilation and fresh air which disperses the by- products of chlorination effectively.

The sun and it’s UV rays also assist with breaking down dichloramines and trichloramines.

The Noise Factor

Indoor pools are made up of hard surfaces such as walls, floors, glass viewing panels even the pool water is a hard surface.

Once sound is emitted the sound wave will continue to bounce off all hard surfaces until it loses energy.

Reflected sounds ‘build up’ to a much higher level than the original sound emitted with reflected sound also masking direct sound.

In a busy venue, it is completely possible for swimmers in a class to not hear instruction from the swim teacher standing less than a metre in front of them due to the reflected noise, whilst spectators are able to hear instruction from the other end of the pool.

In an outdoor venue, swimmers will be less distracted by reflected noise due to the minimisation of hard surfaces. Whilst some teachers may appear to be quitter than others, swimmers will hear the direct sound of a teacher’s instruction.

Our Take

As professionals who spend our days in a range of aquatic environments, the vast majority of our long-term swimming teachers, coaches and lifeguards prefer working in outdoor venues.

Whilst on a cooler day it may not always be comfortable spectating from the sidelines and the moment before sliding into and out of the water may not be a swimmer’s favourite parts of the day, we believe outdoor venues if heated, offer fantastic year-round swimming.

As always, we are here to help you get you swimming. Our Everton Park venue is heated and will be open throughout Term 2.

Remember, summer swim readiness, endurance and racing PB’s are made over Autumn and Winter!

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