With the year that was, it’s not a surprise when many of us will struggle to recall our most recent laps in the swimming pool. After all, many pools – be it at resorts, hotels, country club and condominiums – have been off limits for much of the year. For those who have long enjoyed the full-body workout that swimming brings, the attraction of a private pool at your own residence is more pronounced than ever. Luckily, the advent of increasingly sophisticated equipment for pools means that it is easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of owning a swimming pool without hassle.
Waterco, a 40-year-old Sydney-based player in the business of pool, spa equipment, water filters and commercial water treatment is among the top names in the scene with a distribution network of over 40 countries form its offices located in Oceania, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, France and North America. Waterco’s range of expertise has been called in to provide solutions ranging from elevating water quality for Malaysian hydroponic farms and supporting the myriad water features of London’s posh One Tower Bridge development, to improving the backwashing at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in New Jersey for its penguin and seal population. Its founder, chairman and group chief executive officer Goh Soon Sinn states that 2020 saw disruptions to manufacturing operations initially. However, the volume of international orders would increase substantially making last year a record one for sales, not surprising with the swimming pool being an increasingly useful residential amenity in such times.
In recent times, the core business of replacement equipment of Waterco has expanded to more automation solutions for pool maintenance. “Products are now more sophisticated and become an upgrade on older equipment,” Goh says, adding that Waterco’s own patents include the Multicyclone, which spins most of the dirt out of water, saving water used to clean filters. “We have maintained our research and development expenditure throughout the last decade and it is this aspect which has allowed Waterco to grow the business.” These R&D efforts will also result in the upcoming rollout of Waterco’s Eco-Certified pools in Malaysia to further help owners to conserve water and energy.
Below are two Malaysian personalities and Waterco clients who share their experiences of establishing a pool at their own residences, and the pitfalls to avoid if you wish to do the same.
Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon
“The pool was designed and built 35 years ago. For the children, at least half the length of the pool should be level at four feet depth, where both adults and children can play, before the bottom slopes down to a depth of eight feet for those who like to jump into the deep end. And even at the deep end, there is a ledge all round at four feet depth for standing, resting and watching the going ons.
The other important consideration is the view that a swimmer gets when swimming and his eyes are just at the water level. Instead of having the view been blocked by a raised wall all-round, I prefer the view of an infinity pool where you can look far beyond the end of the pool towards distant trees and hills. This meant choosing an overflow pool design together with its balancing tank to give that effect. Also, good advice: avoid tall tree and their leaves!
When you have young children or grandchildren, the pool is a great family gathering point where many fun memories and photos are taken. These days, with the restriction on movements, there are more opportunities to take in laps at the pool for a cardiovascular workout. I’ve recently discovered the use of palm paddles and short stubby fins for feet – which makes exercising much more effective for the body. And of course, the use of smartwatches to help monitor the workout.
“I have always been interested in design and architecture so images of pools have always been in the forefront of my mind. I had my first pool built over 35 years ago and I was a keen observer! I learnt a bit about placement concreting, plumbing, filtration, circulation and the like.
We also maintain resorts with individual villas. We find that villas with their own private pools are always in high demand and you can get back your capital outlay on a pool within 12-16 months. Kids enjoy splashing in pools that have an extended shallow beach area. Even adults like lying around in the shallow water. Build pools with infinity edges as they can deal with floating dirt and scum more effectively and are also visually very attractive. Build lagoon/curved pools with extensive landscaping, water features, cascading water and grottos. They are all worthwhile additions. Straight-lined lap pools are boring and passe but may be used in minimalist architectural environments.
My advice for those looking to establish pools at their residence would be as follows:
- Understand and observe municipal planning, requirements.
- Determine where all underground services – sewerage, water lines, gas lines, electrical supply lines, etc – are.
- Understand soil conditions and the depth of the water table to determine suitable foundation support.
- Size your pool according to your needs, your budget, your maintenance ability, your compound and your neighbor’s compound.
- Choose your location well. Chose it according to your purpose for wanting a pool.
Locate it away from trees, especially trees with strong tap roots like Delonix Regia or commonly known as the Flame of the Forest, if you want to avoid cracked pools. Another practical reason for locating a pool away from trees is the fact that trees shed leaves which increases your maintenance efforts. If you want greenery around the pool, plant palms which have no leaves to shed and which have fibrous roots that do not crack pool walls. The Bismarckia Silver Nobilis is a highly recommended palm. If you have never built a pool before, employ a professional pool builder!
For a person with a problematic back, loosening tight back and leg muscles in a pool is almost essential. A pool is a prerequisite of every resort hotel, social club and residential block in the tropics as all these developments must have a decent sized pool to be categorized as a five-star or luxury development. A pool has also become an essential part of the landscaping. The pool side is the focal point of social interaction in any development. Its very presence helps everyone to de-stress and relax, even if one isn’t physically in the water. In luxury residences, a private pool has become an extension of the living room and adds value to the residence.
My enduring memory of a great swimming pool wasn’t a man-made pool but a huge tidal pool carved out of the rock in an island called Siargao in the Philippines. Amazing clarity with marine life, the pool would be flushed and cleared out with every high tide…..man simply cannot beat nature where it comes to pool design and building!”