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Moss in the ARC Pool? Yes, Please!
Cleaner, Less Chlorinated Pool Thanks to City Grant
For the last nine months the ARC family pool has been utilizing a natural Sphagnum Moss as a form of filtration that has reduced daily chlorine levels while simultaneously inhibiting the growth of microbes and bacterial colonies known as biofilms. The results of using this highly absorbent natural product include cleaner air and water quality for swimmers and staff, decreased chemical usage, reduced film on the edge of the pool, fewer biosolids floating in the water, and the elimination of dry skin, green hair, and faded swim suits – a common effect of chlorinated pools.
“The Head Coach of the Aspen Swim Team noticed the improved quality of air right away,” said Erin Hutchings, ARC Operations Manager. “Dr. Gordon Gerson, who is also a cardiologist, noticed the positive effects immediately, which is great since he and his team spend nearly 20 hours a week swimming in the pool.”
Hutchings was the motivating force for adding Sphagnum Moss into the pool at the ARC. She attended an Aquatics Facility Operator Course and applied for a City environmental grant and was awarded $750 to get the program started.
“All it entails is putting the moss, which is in a tea bag like case into a cage beneath the water slides and its highly absorbent structure digests biosolids like sweat, urine, and body oils.”
Without the moss, these biosolids interact with chlorine and create chloramine, which is responsible for the strong odor usually associated with public pools. So far, the moss has contributed to the reduction of between 4.5 to 10.5 pounds of chlorine a week.
“It’s also been really nice to see less film at the edge of the pool,” Hutchings said. “There is less build up which gives us more time to interact with our guests and enjoy the improved setting.”
Staff change the moss every month and composts the used product.
The City of Aspen Green Team collects donated funds from employee contributions and distributes $2,000 in grants for environmental projects in the City annually. The Green Team is run by a board of employees that include Jordan Grey-Dekrai, Jack Wheeler, Karen McConnell, Teresa Hackbarth, and Jakob Moe.