Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't treat swimming pools like bath tubs

MY fellow condominium dwellers celebrated the revival of our swimming pool with a party recently.

After almost getting into the M a l ay s i a Book of Records as the largest outdoor aquarium in Klang Valley — it was a home for red tilapias in the past two years — refurbishment work was undertaken some months back and the facility is now restored.

At the pool’s opening, several children put up a show on the proper attire to wear before taking a dip in the pool.

This was to show the adults how to be properly dressed before going for their swim.

Hopefully, in addition to the huge signboard at the gates and notices slapped on bulletin boards, the residents would be encouraged to care for the facility.

One of the biggest challenges condominium managers face when running a facility with a swimming pool is how to get people to be properly attired before they swim.

Just last week, this paper reported how a 62-year-old security guard who tried to stop improperly dressed children from swimming in a condominium’s pool was beaten up by their father.

He suffered bruises and has lodged a police report over the incident.

Walk into any condominium or apartment which has a swimming pool and chances are you will see people frolicking in shorts, track bottoms and T-shirts in the pool.

No property, regardless of the price, has a swimming pool that is free of this blatant disregard for the r ules.

Some residents feel they have a right to do as they please in the swimming pool as they had paid their maintenance f e e s.

I witnessed the problem at one high-end serviced condominium in Kota Damansara recently.

My foreign friends who had rented two properties there for two years were aghast.

“Is this the way Malaysians swim?” one of them asked.

Embarrassed, I muttered: “No.

Not in the city.

These people must be village folk visiting their relatives living here.

They do it all the time in the villages, dressed in their casual clothes and swimming in streams, rivers and pools at waterfalls.

” Even resort swimming pools are not spared unless the management strictly enforces the “proper swimming attire” ruling.

Otherwise, you get cloudy pools like some of those I have seen at coastal hotels in Port Dickson, Malacca, Penang and Johor Baru where guests take a dip in their T-shirts and shorts after having been to the beach.

Salt is not the pool’s biggest enemy, I was told by a condominium manager in Port Dickson.

It is the fabric — usually cotton fibres — that cause the greatest damage to the pool’s circulation system.

Cotton fibres clog up the pumps and eventually damage them.

T-shirts, shorts, track bottoms and underwears lose their fibres more easily than modern swimsuits made from lycra.

People who continue to turn a blind eye to the ruling requiring proper attire at swimming pools are unconsciously destroying the facility.

If condominium residents continue to treat their pools like public bathtubs, they could verywell lose them one day if the management could no longer afford to pay for the pumps’ repair.

Then they will realise, like we did, that having the biggest outdoor aquarium in the country in your condominium is not something to be proud of.

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