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Ella Wooten pool
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Ella Wooten pool
by Rod on June 8th, 2010

Sure, could be...

Spring load that door and this problem goes away? We first ought to find out if it is spring loaded now. I am at work...

-Rod
 
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John Guest
Mueller Community

Posts: 133
Joined on February 2nd, 2008
Ella Wooten pool
by John Guest on June 8th, 2010

Here are the facts as best I can determine:

1)A person climbed over the fence surrounding Ella Wooten Pool yesterday. 2)The intruder opened the gate and placed a rock between the gate and the gate frame. 3)Several individuals in different groups went into and out of the pool area from this point forward. 4)A call was made to Jennifer Harvey about 3:45 p.m. She contacted security who showed up about ten minutes later. 5)The security person challenged the people at the pool. 6)They were identified as Mueller residents who claimed not to know the pool was closed on Mondays. 7)The youngest child was wearing swim trunks and was of an age not requiring a diaper according to the security person. 8)The family was escorted out of the pool and was informed of Monday closures of the pool. 9)The pool perimeter was resecured. 10)Scads of creative ideas are being explored for reducing unauthorized intrusions.

Thank you again to those who noted and reported the suspicious activity.
 
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Joe Zabreznik
Mueller Community

Posts: 64
Joined on May 20th, 2008
Ella Wooten pool - Maybe a little off Topic
by Joe Zabreznik on June 8th, 2010

Just so I'm clear can someone tell me why the pool needs to be closed on Monday?

I live directly across from the pool, am home most days, and occasionally I see someone cleaning the pool on Monday (max of 1-2 hrs when it's in really bad shape). Other weeks the pool is not cleaned on Monday and the person comes on another random day. It would stand to reason that If the person cleaning the pool can come on a Tuesday vs a Monday, and the pool is not closed on Tuesday, then there is no good reason for the pool to be closed on Monday. At least I am not aware of a good reason and that is why I am asking "why?".

Additionally, the pool being closed from 12-1pm seems a little odd because I don't think I've ever seen a lifeguard show up until just minutes before 1pm. Are we paying to have the lifeguards here from 12-1 pm? If so let me know because we are definitely NOT getting our moneys worth.

We pay a lot of money as a community to "use" this pool and closing it down for a whole day cuts off about 15% of the time we could potentially be swimming.

Joe Z.
 
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Alexa Manza
Mueller Community

Posts: 111
Joined on March 13th, 2010
Ella Wooten pool - Maybe a little off Topic
by Alexa Manza on June 8th, 2010

on that same note:
I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor for a city pool for 6 summers. We were open everyday all summer. Swim lessons started at 8am each M-F. We tested the pool at set times during the day and added chlorine when we left each night (9pm) based on pool levels, etc. Everyday we opened.

So although a member of the committee wrote a nice post about why the pool is closed on Monday and why it's closed 12-1 it may not really make sense to close at all, except it's been decided and therefore is.

Based on Barkingspider living across from the pool (I do as well but can't see inside) and their noting that this miraculous cleaning isn't happening on Mondays as scheduled, and the results of any such cleanings are included in other topics on this forum, we might be being taken for a ride.

These items of concern need to be addressed prior to next years rules being put in place.
 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Ella Wooten pool
by Rod on June 8th, 2010

I checked the gate to the pool a few minutes ago. I opened the gate with the electronic entry card, and then noticed that the gate door is in fact spring-loaded and thus closes itself. It takes 4 seconds for it to lock again after closing. I repeated this a few times, and observed consistent performance. This is one crucial data point, or shall we say "datum", my dear Watson.

Using deductive reasoning based on this singular observation and years of experience in such cases, one can readily deduce that it cannot be the maintenence personnel (in case they were there on Sunday which is highly questionable given their apparent erratic past performance). I conclude, Watson, that it is likely, nay I should say a sure thing, that on Monday, the day of the incident, a resident either opened the door or jumped the fence, and let other people, probably family members, into the pool--an 'inside job', in other words.

Other evidence suggests that the youngest child was wearing swim trunks and was of an age not requiring a diaper, but this evidence will not be released at this time, dear Watson, as Scotland Yard is flummoxed and I shan't wish to embarrass them further.

We can consider this 'illegal swimming incident' closed, Watson.
 
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jillians
Mueller Community

Posts: 268 (top 25)
Joined on January 5th, 2009
Ella Wooten pool - gate security
by jillians on June 8th, 2010

I think the gate could use a buzzer to signify that it's not properly closed. It doesn't have to be super loud & annoying. My fridge beeps if the door's open too long. Should be simple to implement.

I know the pool designer didn't want signage messing up their design, but let's get serious. We need a big sign (it could be freestanding) with resident hours, public hours, days of operation and *swim diaper* requirements. Without it, one person could jump the fence and let other people in later (who might not know that person jumped the fence).

As for pool cleaning, I'm not sure who's in charge of it now. It seems in the off season, there are Alliance staff cleaning it. When the lifeguards are present, do they take over the cleaning duties or is Alliance still providing that service? I think Alliance is responsible for bathroom/poolhouse cleaning which poses an interesting question... are we really getting what we're paying for with an in-house service like this? Sometimes Alliance treats the homeowners like apartment tenants in a building owned by Catellus.
 
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boogiebuggy
Mueller Community

Posts: 59
Joined on February 5th, 2009
Ella Wooten pool - gate security
by boogiebuggy on June 9th, 2010

I noticed while swimming on Sunday that the baby pool has had green stuff growing on the wall (the wall shared with the big pool). There is quite a bit of it. You can see it from standing on the sidewalk outside of the pool gate. It wasn't taken care of on Monday -- it is still there today.

I realize that the baby pool is closed. Does anyone on the pool committee know if the baby pool also not being maintained?

Also, any firm dates on actual repair and/or reopening? At this point I think we'd all just like to know something definite, even if it's two months (or more), so we can move and get used to the idea of not having full use of the pool.

Thanks!

Beverly on Mendez

 
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Rod
Mueller Community

Posts: 654
Joined on January 31st, 2008
Ella Wooten pool - gate security
by Rod on June 9th, 2010

Just to ensure--Sherlock was not intimating that the gate was not working properly (and not saying that jillians is saying this, either). Gate is working, it takes 4 seconds to magnetize. This might be a 'protect' or simply how long it takes for a magnetization mechanism to be triggered on that size scale...

Sherlock wishes to add an addendum:

Since the gate works properly (spring loaded and shuts) the gate could not have been 'accidentally' left open by maintenence in terms of any 'physical' action on their part. The system of course can be set such that the gate is left 'unmagnetized' and thus the door is open. That is its normal state during the 'open' hours when lifeguards are present. Assuming the system was not over-ridden in this manner, the only option is climbing over the gate. Now, I see John's post that indeed, that is what happened, thus demonstrating that Sherlock's deductive powers rival video equipment.

(Of course, video equipment can be unreliable. One need only marvel at the (evident) erasure of all videotape data logged in cameras surrounding the Murrah Building in Oklahama City prior to the explosions that rocked that building, and also that extensive videotape of (whatever) hit the Pentagon on 911 is yet to be released by the Pentagon (that is, if it has not been erased by someone or some entity...), to understand the potential fallibility of videotape. But Sherlock has no more control over the FBI or the Pentagon, then any Mueller residents would seem to have...

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/108826 (Jesse Trentadue FOIA, missing footage OKC)

http://www.rense.com/general67/fbicl.htm (Jeff Rense, a little Google searching and one realizes that it would be pretty trivial to know what actually hit the Pentagon on 911. Simply release videotapes to the public that have been carefully secreted away...for almost 9 years).

So, barring any federal agencies having oversight of the Wooten Park video camera data, Sherlock can safely deduce that Jennifer Harvey is probably seeing legitimate data. The video, in short, is likely to even be real!)

Sherlock wishes to close this case. Case solved!
 
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John Guest
Mueller Community

Posts: 133
Joined on February 2nd, 2008
Ella Wooten pool
by John Guest on June 9th, 2010

There have been several questions raised about the pool. While I have attempted to provide answers to many of these questions in the past, I’m not sure I’ve done an adequate job when the questions are repeated. Let me make another stab at helping us all understand the pool better.

1. The baby pool – The baby pool was completed two years ago with an extra layer of tile and plaster on the steps to accomplish the correct step height to allow the pool to open on time. The manner of accomplishing the step height was improper and has led to flaking of the plaster on the steps. For this reason, yellow tape has been placed on the rails to warn people of the faulty condition. Since the tape was being removed inappropriately and the steps were being used in a potentially unsafe manner, the baby pool was closed. The green stuff in the baby pool is algae. It is a naturally occurring growth that exists in just about every body of water. When it can, algae attach themselves to the walls of the pool and grow rapidly from there. In most pool environments, a good scrubbing will remove algae from the wall and, in combination with good chemical control, the algae will be controlled.

Since the plaster is flaking, the lifeguards and cleaning personnel are NOT scrubbing the steps. This means the algae continues to thrive. Algae can create a slippery condition, but it is not dangerous. Since the baby pool is closed, the slippery problem should be mute.

Jennifer Harvey has been pursuing warranty repair of the faulty steps. For those of us familiar with this type of thing, it is not unusual to have disputes arise about who is responsible for warranty repairs. This leads to aggravating delay. Jennifer thinks we will see the baby pool steps get fixed in the next week or so.

When this happens, the baby pool will be out of commission for about a day and a half. This will probably mean all day some Monday and half of the following Tuesday. The pool is closed on Monday for several reasons. One of the reasons is to allow a predictable time for significant cleaning and/or repair.

2. Pool cleaning – The Pool Advisory Committee has commiserated about pool cleaning quite frequently. We generally understand that certain conditions will create problems in pool cleanliness. One of these problems is fecal leakage. When fecal leakage occurs, the pool must be evacuated, shocked, cleaned, and left empty of swimmers for a certain period of time. The pool won’t necessarily look dirty, but I think we all can generally understand that it really, really is.

Another condition that leads to problems in pool cleanliness is a wind and/or rain storm. Particulate matter in the air tends to get dumped into the pool water leading to the noticeable observation that the pool is dirty. For the most part, a pool containing dust, sand, and dirt is not unsafe. The pool filtration system will generally take care of the particulate matter over time and particulate matter than falls to the pool bottom will be picked up at the next pool cleaning.

A third condition in pool cleanliness was mentioned above – algae. Algae love wet and sunny environments. Algae love pools. There are generally algae in the pool every minute of every day. It grows fast and furiously in the right conditions. In well controlled stages, algae is invisible. It’s there, but you don’t see it. As it multiplies, you begin to see signs of it. Perhaps the cast of the water slowly changes from light blue to a slightly greenish blue. As it proliferates, it makes the water turn greener and murkier. Unless controlled, the pool will look scummy. The algae attaches to the pool surfaces and starts to create the mossy look that makes us go “Eeeeoooh”.

Chemicals help control algae growth. When the lifeguards are present, there are people on duty who should be attuned to the condition of the water and react accordingly. While the pool has monitoring devices to adjust chemical requirements, the people on the scene can and should intervene whenever it is necessary.

Alliance Management is the employer of Jennifer Harvey. They provide management services to the POA – the Mueller Property Owners Association. Jennifer is responsible for recommending the cleaning company and the lifeguard company to the POA Board. She and they decide. The Pool Advisory Committee is asked for and provides advice on these and other issues. Jennifer doesn’t clean the pool. Alliance Management doesn’t clean the pool. That being said, if Jennifer or Alliance get a report of fecal contamination and the pool cleaners cannot get there rapidly enough, Jennifer has been known to head to the pool to a) evacuate swimmers and b) if possible, to remove the “offending load”.

The pool maintenance and cleaning company hired by Alliance is Lifeguards4Hire. They have been doing this since the pool opening and do this work for many other pools in the Austin area. During the off-season, they are to clean the pool three times per week and check chemicals four times per week. During the “season” they are responsible for cleaning and chemical checking throughout the week. Normally the pool is given a major cleaning on Mondays (when the pool is closed). This includes shocking which means that chlorine levels are raised to a high level during which swimming is unsafe. There are at least two other scheduled cleanings during the week. There is an automated chemical monitoring system and the pool guards are to make manual readings at least four times per week.

3. Hours and days of operation: This is one of my favorite topics. The Ella Wooten pool is a pool with “hybrid” licensure. It operates as a Class B pool open to the public when lifeguards must be present and as a Class C pool when used only by Mueller residents and their accompanied guests. There are problems when a Class B pool operates under Class C standards and vice versa. Sooooo, we believe that a phase transition period between the two classes is prudent and wise. This phase transition period was initially set at one hour. Subsequently, we moved the phase transition period to thirty minutes at the evening close of the lifeguarded pool. We decided to keep the phase transition at one hour between the Class C closure at noon and the Class B opening at 1:00 p.m.

There is no expectation that lifeguards will show up or stay during the phase transition period. They can and sometimes do, but the point is that the period was intended to separate the Class C and Class B operations of the pool. The phase transition period could be longer or perhaps as short as a millisecond and the Pool Advisory Committee is open to our neighbors advice on this matter. I would advise that all conversations on this matter be associated with a beer or two.

The decision to close the pool on Mondays also has raised questions. Experienced lifeguards and swimming instructors like me will tell you how pools actually operate seven days per week. Ella Wooten could, too. The Pool Advisory Committee started with the premise that Mueller could afford only a certain number of lifeguarded hours at the pool. We could have lifeguards available in any combination that made good sense. Our conclusion was that 1PM to 7PM on six days of the week would be the best combination. This conclusion can be argued over beer as well. Anyway, we suggested that Monday would be a good day not to have lifeguards.

We also discussed keeping the pool open all times the lifeguards weren’t present. We recommended that the pool be closed at 9PM during school term and 10PM during summer hours. This too has been argued. More beer opportunities!

We also discussed having a predictable time for major pool cleaning and repair. It was recommended that this be Monday. My belief is that there are actually major periods on Mondays when absolutely nothing is going on at the pool. In my thinking this is fundamentally a good thing. Pools are systems that cycle and filtrate the water. A fallow day, in my humble opinion, gives this system an opportunity to handle the pool shocking process, normalize to acceptable chemical levels, and to provide a good stretch of unfettered filtration. My opinion is arguable, but sound. Clearly someone felt strongly enough about the issue to have jumped the fence this last Monday so that they and anyone else so inclined could enjoy the just shocked waters of Ella Wooten Pool. I hope the swimsuits weren’t too bleached by the chlorine concentrations.

4. The gate and perimeter control: The entry way to the Ella Wooten Pool is considered a piece of art. I kind of like it, but to each his/her own. As a result, it is strongly recommended that signage not be used to clutter the artistic entryway. A small sign that tells the interested party just about everything they should need to know about the pool is located behind the card reader. If you will bring a cigarette and a cup of coffee along, the sign makes for fascinating reading.

Someone was bold enough to put a No Trespassing Sign on the artistic gate/fence. Best I can tell people pretty much ignore this sign because they must assume it carries poetic license and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Inside the gate is another sign that has generic pool rules. Jennifer is getting this sign re-tooled to more specifically relate to the Ella Wooten Pool Rules.

The gate – in addition to its artistic appeal – is quite sophisticated. It mostly works. It tells us when it was opened. But when people put a rock between the gate and the fence, it does absolutely no good whatsoever. Perhaps the gate should have a way to tell us when it is unlocked and open too long.

There are suggestions that the gate should make the same kind of annoying beeps that our refrigerator and microwave make when I leave them open too long. I am undecided about the level of annoyance that should be produced when people do the wrong or stupid thing. I’d love to volunteer to just stand at the gate hour after hour screaming at people, but I’ve got better things to do. Any volunteers?

All-in-all, it is our hope that you will enjoy the pool. It is a very nice neighborhood pool. I know how difficult it must be to conform to all of the intricate rules and requirements associated with Ella Wooten Pool, but in a vibrant community like ours, I’d be surprised if we could ever all agree on just about anything.

I’m not trying to change anybody’s mind; I’m just trying to explain. The Pool Advisory Committee really is listening and welcomes any and all suggestions for improving the pool environment. Enjoy the summer.
 
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Kathleen Malcom
Mueller Community

Posts: 434
Joined on September 22nd, 2008
Ella Wooten pool
by Kathleen Malcom on June 9th, 2010

Just a quick note to add that the Pool did come up in a roundabout way in the PIAC meeting last night. Dee stated that our pool issues have been duly noted and in future phases they will seriously consider having a separation between the baby & adult pool so that contamination in one won't affect the other. The pools would be in the same fenced area, but have a divider wall and separate filter system. Therefore, both pools would not have to be closed due to contamination. It would be too costly to amend the current pool.
 
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