Pool Myths and Urban Legends

 Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you which makes them declassified. . . . . . . . . And other helpful tips.

Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you which makes them declassified. . . . . . . . . And other helpful tips.

I’m going to switch things up a bit and start with some fun, did you know? Tid-bits!: Did you know that in 45minutes of swimming you can swallow 1-2.5 tablespoons of pool water? In that pool water contains: 10million microbes of hair, 8million microbes of saliva (in just one drop), 140+ BILLION microbes from nose, skin, mouth and fecal matter. YUM-OO!

I’m sure there are a lot myths that you’ve heard or even told someone else about swimming pools or swimming in general. Well I’m here to hit that piñata and watch all the facts spill everywhere!

MYTH #1: I think this is the most popular urban legend: “IF YOU PEE IN THE POOL THERE’S A CHEMICAL THAT WILL TURN IT BLUE!”

Not only is this very false it’s just silly. I can understand the reasoning that someone came up with this - peeing in the pool is gross! So someone wanted to try and stop them from doing it by scaring them into thinking everyone would see you pee in the pool. But have no fear—there’s no such chemical!! You can safely pee in the pool with no chemical dye to rat you out……...however is it really safe to do so? Find out next….

MYTH #2: “I can pee in the pool because the chlorine will kill it”

Mostly everyone has done it and even Michael Phelps admitted to doing it during long practices. But 2 wrongs definitely do not make a right. Peeing in the pool can pose an even bigger threat than just “there’s now pee in the pool”. When Uric Acid, found in urine, combines with the chlorine in the pool it can create 2 byproducts: Cyanogen Chloride and Nitrogen Trichloramine, both of which are extremely hazardous for healthy swimming—they can affect many, many organs and even the central  nervous system. Plus if we have everyone peeing in the pool, then the chlorine is going to divert all of it’s time trying to kill/disinfect what is being introduced than other germs that also pose a risk to swimmers. So just by taking a leak into the pool, you’ve now introduced a potentially extremely harmful chemical combination into the pool but also unnecessary germs. Take regular restroom breaks and please don’t pee in the pool if you enjoy having healthy lungs, central nervous system and a healthy heart!

MYTH #3: “If I can smell the chlorine, the pool is clean”

I admit, before I knew anything about pools this is exactly what I thought. Even in some cases, I enjoyed ‘the smell of a pool’. If you are like me then I am about to tear your world apart. If a pool you are about to swim in has a strong chlorine odor, RUN AWAY. That pool is not clean and in fact, the chlorine is most likely very low. Urine, sweat, fecal matter, saliva, beauty products and other compounds combine in the pool with chlorine [ammonia and nitrogen] to create chloramines—which are the source of that strong “pool smell”; you’ll more likely experience this with indoor facilities. When there is a high quantity of chloramines not only is the ventilation of that area in question but also the condition of the water itself. To test for chloramines you can use DPD test kit or your nose! It isn’t that hard to find out if there a significant amount of chloramines present—you can even take a handful of water and smell (try to avoid taking any water in the nose!). Shocking the pool and having a good ventilation system are ways to remove chloramines.

MYTH #4: “My eyes are red and painful, there’s too much chlorine in the water!!”

If I had a nickel for each time I heard this while working…….it’s not true! The reason for irritated eyes and/or skin is not caused by the chlorine level but in fact, the pH level and chloramines present. Again touching on bather hygiene, it’s best for your own health but the health of others to shower before entering the pool to reduce the byproducts of disinfection that create chloramines. Safe pH levels to swim in is usually 7.2-7.8. Most will generalize and say that since 7.5 is right in the middle then that’s the most safe to swim at. That is not necessarily true. Chlorine is a lot more effective closer to 7.2 and 7.0. However most bathers will notice eye and skin irritation around 7.0. If your eyes and skin have a bad reaction after being in a swimming pool, check the chemical levels and try to smell around for a strong chlorine-like odor for chloramines—they are the culprit!

MYTH #5: “You need to wait 30min—1 hour after you eat before you can swim or else you’ll get a cramp and drown”.

It’s been theorized that all the blood needed for digestion will go straight to the stomach and deprive your limbs of proper blood flow and they will essentially stop working and you will drown. Man oh man……..just ridiculous! There’s really no research that proves that if you swim immediately after eating that it directly causes cramps that will stop your limbs from functioning. Cramps can happen at any moment during physical/recreational activity. It can however, cause some nausea. If your body hasn’t properly digested all that you took in during the adult swim break—your body will direct most of the blood to your extremities leaving you with minor stomach irritation and possible vomiting. So if you were to wait before entering the water after snacking, it’s to help calm your stomach before vigorous activity that could result in you swallowing pool water and maybe even save the facility from having to close for a biohazard contaminate in the pool.

That’s enough for now I suppose……. Keep an eye out for Volume II of Ruby’s Pool Myths and Urban Legends! And as always, thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.







We Got a Floater

 Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you WHICH makes them declassified. . . . . . . . . And other helpful tips

Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you WHICH makes them declassified. . . . . . . . . And other helpful tips


As always, a fun little fact about myself: I won first place in the Junior PGA Tour in California when I was 11 years old. I won free golf clubs and an 18-hole round of golf with Davis Love.

And now for the headline story!

Everyone poops, we don’t talk about it, but it happens. However, not everyone poops in the pool…...but that happens too, so let’s talk about it! In my professional opinion…..a kid’s thought process is “hey, this looks like a giant toilet, - so why can’t I poop in it?”

Fecal incidents are more common than you would think and it’s one of the many, many reasons why there are adult swims in place at pools. Realistically everyone should be getting out of the water at least every hour to use the restroom, rehydrate, re-apply sunscreen, make sure THE KIDDOS go to the bathroom, or to change swim diapers/pants. So, sorry to say it kids, adult swim is not to punish you—they’re to make sure to minimize bacteria in the pool and prevent the spread of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs).

“Why do you need to close the pool for poop if there’s chlorine in the water?”

Well as you may know poop carries a lot of gross stuff in it and because of that, it takes chlorine several minutes if not hours to kill some of what is inside. There are two kinds of fecal incidents that can happen: Number 1 & Number 2 (ha...ha…...just kidding). The first is solid fecal matter and the second, liquid fecal matter (yup, diarrhea). If anyone were to poop in the pool, you’re definitely rooting for the first one. When solid fecal matter is found in the pool it needs to be immediately addressed and taken out of the pool. Luckily, most of the yucky diseases are inside the ‘poop puck’ and not usually on the surface. Chocolate anyone? The pool will need to be evacuated of all patrons. Once all or most of the matter is taken out then the CDC recommends the free chlorine level to  be maintained at 2ppm (parts per million) and a pH range of 7.2 - 7.5 for 30 minutes. If the free chlorine is lower, or if the pH is outside of this range, then pool closure time will need to be prolonged. Average pool closures can be around 1-2 hours or longer based on clean-up time and chlorine/pH level. Lifeguards can add Professional Pooper Scooper to the resume! You should treat the pool the same for any animal feces that may be dropped in.  Vomit in the pool procedures are the exact same as solid fecal matter. A good rule of thumb is that if there are no “chunks” or other particles in the vomit, then it’s most likely regurgitated water and it’s safe to keep the pool open. But once you see those delicious goldfish floating around…...it’s time to close the pool.

Blood - it is uncommon to have to close the pool for blood. In a well balanced pool the chlorine will kill any germs found in the blood fairly quickly. However, if your chemical levels are not within the appropriate range, you might want to close the pool and get that straightened out. If there is a significant amount of blood, from a nosebleed for example, in the pool then some facilities may still close 30 minutes to an hour to appease patrons (because who wants to swim in a giant cloud of blood? Not me!). But according to the CDC, there is no public health risk if the pool were to stay open during this time. It’s just very icky.

Now for the good stuff—diarrhea. Liquid fecal incidents are a whole different ballgame. It is usually easy to identify when there is diarrhea in the pool because it is accompanied by a wonderful cloud of dark and dangerous goodies. Have we discussed the types of diseases fecal matter carries? No? Boy oh boy are you in for a sweet treat. Just some types of bacteria: E.coli, shigella, cholera, salmonella, campylobacter. Viral infections: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, rotavirus. Parasites: giardia, cryptosporidium and even in some cases, WORMS. Do I still have you? Have I scared anyone away yet? These can be carried in both solid and liquid fecal matter but they are easily contained inside the solid matter. Usually if someone has diarrhea it is because something not very nice is inside their gastrointestinal system. When there is a liquid fecal incident the chlorine will need to be raised to 10ppm chlorine level or hyperchlorinated for about 26 hours. What’s even scarier is that, according to the CDC, the parasite Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of waterborne disease among human in the U.S. AND it is chlorine-tolerant. So basically in a properly and safe balanced pool, the parasite can live in a swimming pool for ……..days. (dun, dun dunnnnn). If you become very ill, diagnosed with cryptosporidium and were in a swimming pool in the past 2 weeks, then please alert your local health district so that it may be contained and treated.

Well I think I’ve grossed out and scared you all enough so I will end your torture. Please remember to always shower before entering the pool to help rinse off any fecal matter that may still be on you or your kids and to report ANY suspicious looking candy bars or pebbles floating around the pool to a lifeguard or other Aquatics Professionals so that they can address it. Better to be safe than, have extreme diarrhea!

Thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.


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Practice Safe Sun

Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you so that makes them declassified.. . . . . . And other helpful tips

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Welcome! I am so glad you’ve decided to come back and learn even more! I’ll continue to keep this as entertaining and informative as I possibly can. So to start, another fun fact about myself: I was the mascot for the Riverbend High School homecoming football game in 2011. Don’t cheat the Bears!

While Summer may be gone...these tips apply year round for safe sun exposure!

Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma…..OH MY!! I think you may have a hint on what we are going to discuss today. Skin Cancer. Why such a tough subject? Well as a pool manager one of my many concerns for myself, my aquatics staff AND patron is skin safety! Now, most of my expertise is geared more toward aquatics safety, water chemistry and pool equipment but that doesn’t mean I can’t lay down some facts and information on you about skin safety and cancer prevention!

There are several ways to help prevent the most common cancer in the United States. Most of which, being pool goers, you may not like so much.

#1: AVOID THE SUN LIKE THE PLAGUE! easy right? Well not quite….. Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure or cover exposed areas of the body to the sun. If avoiding the sun seems just so ridiculous to you, then you’re not alone. I have some more tips up my sleeve. Avoid the sun during peak hours usually from 10:00am—2:00pm. This is when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Delay your visit to the pool until it starts to cool down and your skin will thank you (and you might even avoid the capacity crowds, score!).

#2: I scream! You scream! We all scream, for SUNSCREEN! Wearing SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on a daily basis can reduce your risk of certain skin cancers by almost 50%! I like those odds, SPF 30+ even better! One bit of information I try to tell my aquatics staff that you need to apply sunscreen 20-25minutes BEFORE you expose your skin to the sun. I’ll let you soak that in (literally). When you apply sunscreen just after arriving to the pool it is quickly washed off with that first splash into the water. Giving sunscreen some time to soak into your skin will prolong it’s effectiveness and will help avoid loads of oily buildup on the waters surface. It’s a win-win! You also need to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours (yes even if it is labeled sport or water resistant).

So parents—please please please don’t lather up your kiddos seconds before they jump into the pool...you have a chance to prevent skin cancer AND can help prevent gross sunscreen buildup in the corners of the pool. Much like the outside clothing, the buildup lowers the chlorine’s effectiveness and makes it difficult to breakdown and filter out without having to add more enzymes to the pool.

 “Don’t worry Ruby it’s overcast today and I can’t even see the sun so I don’t need sunscreen” - FALSE……. You’re still exposed to UV rays, slab on that screen!

“Don’t worry Ruby it’s overcast today and I can’t even see the sun so I don’t need sunscreen” - FALSE……. You’re still exposed to UV rays, slab on that screen!

#3: Check the UV index! The UV index can help you gauge how strong the UV radiation current is. And you can better prepare yourself with sunglasses, hats and SPF clothing. Or even decide to relax inside for the day.

Other helpful tips are to avoid tanning beds, find shade if you do decide to brave the sun, and most importantly check your skin regularly and consult your doctor or dermatologist for any abnormal moles or areas on your skin. Below are links that I used and can help guide you to various information to help you perform a skin exam, check statistics, learn more on the UV index and continue on this journey with me to Practice Safe Sun!

Here's some links that help me pizzazz my soapbox and can help you too!





Thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.



No Shirt? No Jeans? No Problem!

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Super top-secret stories and information from the desk of the pool manager that we are now telling you so that makes them declassified. . . . . . . . . And other helpful tips

First, welcome to my first blog post! My name is Ruby and I am the Sports and Aquatics Manager at Wilderness Presidential Resort. I’ve worked with WPR since I was a junior in high school in 2010. Fun fact: it was my first job! I started in the Recreation department before moving over to Aquatics. I also manage and train the guides at the Adventure Park, so it is safe to say my job is fun! In February 2017 I was awarded the Dr. Frank Pia Lifesaving Award for a deep water rescue I had performed and sustained a life for in August of 2016. Well, enough about me, and more about outside clothing in the pool—yippee!

How many times have you packed up the car with screaming kids and you can’t wait to let them burnout all their energy at the pool, only to be told you can’t get in the water because of your t-shirt? If this has happened to you at a pool then keep reading, it will be worth it…….I hope. Unfortunately I will come off as the villain in this story because I have been that lifeguard that tells you “you can’t get in with that” but hopefully I can change your mind in just a few short paragraphs.

The “no outside clothing” rule isn’t just a rule to annoy and make your life harder. In fact, its sole role is to make life easier! Clothing that is not swimwear can cause an imbalance in water chemical levels, create a cloudy pool, transport water/airborne pathogens, and even harm pool filtration equipment, YIKES!!How is that possible you ask? Excellent question. Absorbent material can break down in the water and the fibers can clog equipment. Clothing that has been dyed like t-shirts, jeans or other apparel can bleed into the water and make the chemical levels drop. Chlorine has a tough job to disinfect and sanitize bacteria and other various wastes in the pool, so adding in dyes from clothing and fibers from broken down shirts just make for a world of trouble.

Now I know what you’re thinking, how can my t-shirt disrupt so much and destroy pool equipment when I’m only swimming for a couple of hours? It’s true, if we only had ONE person a day get in the pool with a cotton t-shirt life wouldn’t be so hard. However, it’s the dozens of people every few hours trying to get in the pool with unauthorized clothing that make things a little difficult. Don’t worry, I’ve brought proof. Below are pictures of only 1 month of filtration on a pool. What you see are those broken down fibers of absorbent clothing and denim. It took a group of 4 people 3-hours to completely clean these filters. Yes, we can’t catch all offenders of this rule however we can do our best to try and minimize and hopefully eliminate this contamination.


I’ll leave you with some helpful info so you and your friends and family know what is considered “swimwear”. Nylon and lycra are the best options for swimming in and is what most swimwear is made out of. The following items might cause a lifeguard to tell you to change or remove before swimming/are not considered approved swimwear: denim, cotton, bike or other compression and sport bottoms, leotards, male/female undergarments, sporting apparel, t-shirts, polos, regular diapers, etc. If you or someone in your group are susceptible to sunburn or has had issues with skin cancer in the past— I understand and most definitely take that into consideration. Please wear an appropriate non-absorbent t-shirt to swim in (they even make some that have SPF in them!) and please apply sunscreen every day.

Thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.


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Things to do Before the Kids Go Back to School

Are you looking for something fun to do while staying at the resort? Do you live locally and need some fun ideas for the kids just for the day? We've got you covered!


ALL NEW! Knockerball®

Knockerball® is an all-encompassing, protective, safe, single chambered ball of air with inner handles and shoulder straps that enables you to almost literally defy gravity. Warning: Two or more will make you laugh till your sore! 

Contact the Gym to make a reservation to GET IN THE BALL! (540) 972-7433 ext. 8

Bonfire Nights - Every Friday through September 8, then Saturdays through October 21!


Join us by the Lower Lake Marina each Friday during the summer for a FREE bonfire activity! We will even provide the  marshmallows for roasting - just bring your own roasting stick. Bonfires start around dusk. 



Adventure Park - Climbing Wall and Aerial Ropes Course

Great for ages 5 & up! Get geared up and get ready to embark on an exciting adventure while you soar through the trees! We host Night Tours each month so you can try the Course in the dead of night. 

In Loving Memory

Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family members of Becky Mays, a long time member at Wilderness Presidential Resort. She is survived by her husband, Randy and son, Brian. The Mays family was known for their festive decorations for Best Decorated Site and Golf Cart in last year's Fourth of July Weekend and again this Memorial Day Weekend. 

Our prayers and thoughts are with the Mays family. 

Becky Mays

ReBlog: Volvo Cars Fredericksburg - 10th Annual Car and Bike Show

Reblog from Volvo Cars Fredericksburg - thanks a bunch for your support! Check our their website and great savings on Volvo cars today!

Don’t Miss the 10th Annual Car and Bike Show at the Wilderness Presidential Resort

Published on: May 24th, 2017

 Visit Volvo Cars Fredericksburg for more information!

Visit Volvo Cars Fredericksburg for more information!

What do bikes, cars, and wilderness have in common? They are all coming together for the 10thAnnual Car and Bike Show at the Wilderness Presidential Resort. The event will take place on June 3rd, and it will contain hours of fun for the entire family. As an added bonus, the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s always nice when you can have fun and help a good cause at the same time.

The Scoop on the Event

Basically, people can fill out a registration form, pay $10, and enter their bike or car into the show. Spectators can come to the resort and view all of the vehicles for a mere $2. You won’t just be there to look around, though. You’re going to be a judge, too. That’s right. This event has spectator judging, which is a cool twist. The top 5 bikes and 15 cars will win trophies, so give it some thought before you cast your ballot. You just might be the tiebreaker.

There will be more than just cars at this show. There will be a 50/50 raffle, so buy a ticket to try to win the prize. There will also be refreshments and a DJ at the event. There won’t be any alcohol, though. This is a family-friendly event, so you don’t have to worry about alcohol ruining it for everyone.

The Resort

Since the event is going to take place at the Wilderness Presidential Resort, you might want to check it out as well. Consider staying the night so you can get the full experience. The cabins are really cool. They look like rustic log cabins from the outside but expect to be surprised when you open the doors. Each cabin has all of the finer comforts you expect when you stay at a resort, including Wi-Fi. Oh, and there is also a fireplace inside of the cabins, so that is a great touch.

This place is also home to some fun outdoor activities, especially hiking and fishing. It’s so peaceful and quiet out there that you can get lost in your thoughts while casting your line or hiking along the trails. If you just need some time to get away from it all, you will love it at this secluded resort.

You are going to see some cool cars at the car show, but that isn’t the only place around that has exciting vehicles. Volvo Cars of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia, also has a ton of top-notch choices. Stop by the dealership before the car show and pick out your own best in show. Then, you will look like a million bucks when you go to the car show.

Blog Credit: http://shop.volvocarsfredericksburg.com/10th-annual-car-and-bike-show/


Camping Specials and Discounts

Did you know you can stay in a Camp Cottage (formerly known as a Park Model RV) for as little as $109 for THREE NIGHTS? Now you can!

We are offering great deals on these units now through the end of Summer! Members pay $109 for Cobra models and $159 for Quailridge models. Non-members pay $159 for Cobra models and $199 for Quailridge models. 

Check out some of our other great deals!

Quailridge Weekly Special (7 nights): $349.00 (Non-Member) / $299.00 (Member)

Cobra Weekly Special (7 nights): $249.00 (Non-Member) / $199.00 (Member)

Cabin Weekly Special (7 nights): $999.00 (Non-Member) / $749.00 (Member)

Call us at (540) 972-7433 ext. 1 today to book your stay!

Camp Cottages do not come with linens (sheets, pillows, towels, blankets, etc.) so guests must bring their own OR rent a basic linens pack for an additional fee. Inquire for details. Specials are not valid on holidays/holiday weekends.  

Wilderness presidential resort Discount special

New Wilderness Website

It's a new year, a new season and that means it's time to shake things up at Wilderness Presidential Resort! We have unveiled our brand new website to better serve our members and guests. The new website is easy to navigate, mobile friendly and showcases all the fun times to be had at the Resort!

We hope you find everything you need on our new website and please contact us at info@wpresort.com with any questions or concerns regarding the new site. We are here to help make your family's experience a relaxing and memorable one. 

We will use this blog to post about improvements at the resort, keep you up to date on upcoming activities, recommend local attractions and provide cool information about things that interest our guests such as camping, adventure seekers guides, safety tips for families and so much more! 

Stay tuned for more!