Regional IAAMB/ACWT Conference (2017)


  • Date: May 19-20, 2017
  • Location: Louisville, KY


Friday May 19, 9 AM โ€“ 12:30ย 

9-9:30 Jonathan Rudinger, President Welcome and Introduction
9:30-10:20 Letha Cupp The Last Session: A Doula at the
Rainbow Bridge
10:30-11:20 Karen Mitchell Lanz, DVM, CVA Tui Na
11:30-12:20 Lola Michelin NBCAAM and You

Lunch break 12:30-1:30

Friday May 19, 1 PM โ€“ 5 PM

1:30-2:20 Jeanna Billings Crystal Healing
2:30-3:20 Nanci Irene Wesling Featherhawk Essences
3:30-4:20 Diane Salettel Correcting Gait and Body
Mechanics for the Animal Massage Practitioner

Saturday May 20, 9 AM โ€“ 12:30

9-9:50 Beth Ann Yerrick PetMassage WaterWork with Dogs
10-10-50 Megan Ayrault, LMP, L/SAMP
11-12:30 Meeting and Discussion:

Statements from IAAMB/ACWT Create Position

Lunch break 12:30-1:30

Saturday May 20, 2-4 pm

Kelly Mount Demonstration of Equine Jin Shin Jyutsu

Off-site Rock Creek Riding Club in Seneca Park 3114 Rock Creek Drive Louisville, KY 40207

How often should I shock my pool?


How often should I shock my pool ?


The simple answer is “Whenever it needs it.” The real question is “How do I know when my pool needs a shock treatment ?”


First, it helps to understand what a shock treatment is and why we need to do it.

When clients (both canine and human) enter the pool, they introduce organics into the water. These include sweat, saliva, skin cells, body lotions, deodorants, soil, urine, loam, and a host of other things. Mother nature also contributes by blowing leaves and other debris into outdoor pools. These organics provide a food source for bacteria to live on. Although there are both good and bad bacteria, the health department generally insists that we get rid of ALL of them.

So we add sanitizers to the pool. When you use chlorine, ozone, or bromine, these compounds actually do two things: 1) they kill the bacteria, and 2) they break down the contaminants, helping to remove them from the water so they no longer provide a smorgasbord for new bacteria.

This is accomplished by oxidation โ€“ an oxygen molecule “attacks” the contaminants. You may have heard of oxidation in relation to a rusty old car, and it’s exactly the same thing. Just as oxidation can turn metal into dust, it will also break down the organics in the pool water.

Killing bacteria is fairly quick and easy, but dissolving the contaminants takes a bit more time and muscle. The problem comes when the sanitizer “falls behind.” If there is a choice between a live bacterium and the organic food source, the oxygen molecule will tend to attach to the food rather than the bacterium. So your sanitizer ends up working on the less important task. Unfortunately, while the sanitizer is working on the contaminant, the bacteria can multiply and you can end up with a bacteria “bloom.” If your water is cloudy before a shock treatment, but clears up afterwards, this is probably what is happening.

You could avoid shock treatments almost entirely by increasing the level of an oxidizing sanitizer so that it never falls behind. This makes sense if contaminants are coming into the pool at a fairly steady rate, but it is wasteful if the problem is just the occasional exceptionally dirty dog. In addition, some sanitizers (particularly minerals and UV) don’t use oxidation at all, so they are of no use in removing organics.

The purpose of a shock treatment, then, is to remove the organics and other contaminants from the pool. It is NOT intended as a replacement for sanitation, but it will help sanitizers be more effective.


If you are chlorinating a pool, it’s quite easy to measure when a shock treatment is needed. Your test kit should include tests for both free and total chlorine. The free chlorine is what is available for killing the bacteria. The total chlorine is the combination of free chlorine plus what has already been “spent” for dissolving organics. When the level of total chlorine exceeds the amount of free (usually by 2 ppm or more), then you know that you are falling behind and need to shock.

We’ve all walked into a public pool and been knocked over by the chlorine smell. It might surprise you to learn that this was probably the result of NOT ENOUGH chlorine, rather than too much! The level of organics has gotten out of hand, and what you smell is the byproduct โ€“ a combination of chlorine and ammonia, or chloramines. A shock treatment is needed to deal with the organics, followed by an increase in chlorine on a daily basis to prevent the buildup in the future.

No matter what sanitizer you are using you can certainly schedule regular shock treatments, but there is no single formula to determine how often. In general, if your water is getting cloudy before the treatment and clearing up afterward, then you need to shorten the cycle and/or increase your daily dose of an oxidizing sanitizer. The smaller your pool, the more often you will need to shock. An 800 gallon spa may require daily shock treatments.

You may also want to shock:

  • After exceptionally heavy use.
  • After a heavy rain or a windstorm that blows debris into the pool.
  • After a water change.

This last one may surprise you โ€“ you’d think that the water coming from your tap is clean and pure. It probably IS safe from live bacteria, but there may still be organics. I always shock after a water change.


There are two main categories of shock treatment: chlorine and non-chlorine. The former is simply raising the chlorine to a very high level โ€“ typically around 10 ppm. This provides enough oxidation to dissolve the organics AND rid the pool of bacteria that may have been busy multiplying during the imbalance.

The trouble with chlorinated shocks is that you cannot use the pool until the chlorine level drops back to normal levels โ€“ around 3 ppm. This can take some time, and you must test the pool water to ensure the level has dropped. In addition, if you are using an alternative sanitizer, it may not be compatible with the chlorine shock treatment.

Non-chlorine treatments generally use potassium monopersulfate. This will NOT kill bacteria, but it is very effective at oxidizing the contaminants. The labels claim you can swim 15 minutes after treating, although I still prefer to wait overnight.


  • You should leave the cover off the pool during a shock treatment. This is because nitrogen gas is expelled as a by-product, and you want to let it escape.
  • If you use a flocculant (a blue clarifier), add it after the shock treatment has had time to work.
  • You’ll probably need to vacuum the pool afterwards, since the oxidized materials will tend to sink to the bottom of the pool.
  • Certain sanitizers may reduce or eliminate the need for shock treatments, but shock treatments do NOT replace sanitizers.

Got questions about water quality, chemistry, or equipment?
Email Karen Hunter at:

The ACWT Pool GuruThe ACWT Pool Guru:
Karen Hunter
22609 102nd Ave SE
Woodinville, WA 98077
425 487-3078

Ozone Sanitation


I’m thinking about using ozone to sanitize my pool. What should I know?


Good choice! Ozone is an excellent sanitizer that is economical, environmentally friendly, and pleasant for our clients.

Let’s start with a basic understanding about how ozone works. You may be surprised to hear that ozone, chlorine, bromine, and peroxide all work essentially the same way โ€“ by oxidation. All these sanitizers are common chemical compounds that have an “extra” oxygen molecule. The formula for oxygen gas is O2, while ozone is O3. Plain old salt (sodium chloride) is NaCl, while liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) is NaClO. Water, or H 2 O, becomes hydrogen peroxide, or H 2 O 2, with an extra oxygen molecule.

These compounds are “volatile” โ€“ that is, the extra oxygen molecule makes them unbalanced, and they want to return to the simpler compound. Happily, the extra oxygen molecule is attracted to oxygen-hating bacteria ! So when the two meet, the oxygen molecule detaches from the sanitizer and attaches itself to the bacterium. The bacteria die, and the ozone turns back into oxygen.

Okay โ€“ enough about chemistry. Lets talk about your options for adding ozone to your pool.

Because of its extreme volatility, plus the fact that it is a gas, you can’t just buy ozone and add it to the water. Instead, you must purchase an ozone “generator”, which makes ozone using the oxygen in the air or water. There are two common types of generators: UV light and Corona Discharge (or CD).

In my opinion, you should not even consider a UV generator for a pool, especially one that meets the needs of our furry clients. To generate ozone using UV requires that 1) the water be in contact with the lights for an extended period of time, and 2) there is no “interference” between the UV source and the water. In other words, you have to have a low flow system, you need to have a fairly large chamber with multiple lights, you need to keep the bulbs spotlessly clean, and any kind of cloudiness in the water will interfere with ozone production. In addition, the lights lose effectiveness over time, even before they burn out. In general, UV ozone generators are okay for sanitizing the drinking water in your motor home, but not much else.

CD models are capable of much higher ozone output, AND at a lower operating cost (less electricity, no bulb replacement). They are compatible with higher flow rates and aren’t affected by cloudy water. Most ozone generators sold for the pool industry are CD models, but be sure you ask. In a CD ozone generator, room air is filtered and bubbled into the water, which is then passed through electrically charged plates. The electrical charge adds the extra oxygen molecule, and the oxygen in the air is converted to ozone. A similar thing happens during thunder storms, which is why you often smell ozone after a lightning strike.

Hooking up an ozone generator to your pool is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to have a small bypass manifold between the filter and heater. Part of the water that is circulating will be diverted into the ozone generator.

Now here’s another thing you need to know about ozone and all the other sanitizers as well โ€“ in addition to being volatile, they are also corrosive ! Ozone will bleach out color just as chlorine and peroxide will. There can be other reactions: ozone has a tendency to break down silicone, polycarbonates (certain plastics) react to bromine, chlorine destroys latex, etc.

Proper dilution of these sanitizers in water helps to minimize these corrosive effects. However, since it’s a gas, ozone is a bit harder to dilute than the others. If you send the ozone gas directly to your pool, you are going to see immediate and serious damage to your pool cover! For this reason, along with your ozone generator, you want to be sure to include a degassing unit, also called an ozone tower.

An ozone tower is basically a tall pipe with an outlet at the top for gas and at the bottom for sanitized water. The water and the ozone mix in the pipe and the bacteria are killed. The gas bubbles (oxygen and unused ozone) are sent out the top (which should be vented to the outdoors), and the sanitized water, minus bubbles, is returned to your pool (not to the heater).

You can purchase ozone towers from most of the manufacturers of ozone generators, and you can also find them at aquarium stores. There are also build-it-yourself instructions for them on the internet. In my opinion, the taller the tower the better.

However wonderful ozone is, it is not usually sufficient as your only sanitizer. Ozone isn’t effective against algae. It doesn’t remain in the water, so you’ll still need a residual sanitizer such as chlorine, bromine, or copper. However, you’ll be able to use much lower amounts of the other sanitizers and still keep the water clean and healthy.

Got questions about water quality, chemistry, or equipment?
Email Karen Hunter at:

The ACWT Pool GuruThe ACWT Pool Guru:
Karen Hunter
22609 102nd Ave SE
Woodinville, WA 98077
425 487-3078

What is pH?


What is pH? Mine is frequently off, but my water looks fine.


Well, pH stands for “potential of hydrogen”, but I prefer to think of it as Potential Hazard. It is probably the single most important test in your pool kit, and keeping the pH in the correct range is one of the most valuable things you can do to keep your pool clean and safe.

pH is basically a measure of the relative acidity / alkalinity of a substance. It ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 being neutral. Your blood, skin, saliva, and the diet Coke you drink all have pH values. When the pH in your body falls outside a certain range, it’s a sign that something is wrong. The same is true of your pool water.

The pH in your pool should generally be kept in the 7.2 to 7.8 range, although I shoot for between 7.4 and 7.6. If it gets outside this range, several things can happen.

The first is that your clients will be uncomfortable. Stinging, red eyes and itchy skin are symptoms of an undesirable pH. High pH levels also increase the likelihood of yeast infections โ€“ bad for dogs and people alike.

The second problem is sanitation. Chlorine and bromine do not work when the pH is too far out of balance. So you could be putting in chemicals to clean the water that are having little or no effect.

Finally, a pH that is too high can contribute to cloudiness in the water, while one that is too low can damage your pool and equipment.

A low pH can be raised with the addition of sodium bicarbonate – simple baking soda. Save yourself some money โ€“ instead of purchasing “pH Up” from the pool store, go to Costco and get a big bag of baking soda.

When the pH is too high, you must add acid to the water. Many people are reluctant to do this, believing that acid is a “bad” thing. Believe me, if your pH is too high, acid is a very good thing. It does require careful handling, though.

Changes in pH are easiest when they are small. Don’t wait until the pH is at the outside of the range to fix it. Once the pH is balanced and stable, testing two or three times a week (and making necessary adjustments) is probably all that will be needed. When you first set up the pool, after water changes, or after any major event (such as exceptionally heavy use or changing equipment), you should test and adjust daily until things stabilize.

If you are testing for multiple things (and you should be), and need to fix more than one, fix the pH first.

Final note: Many kits include a test for TA (Total Alkalinity). In general, having the TA in the right range will help stabilize the pH. However, changing one will change the other, and depending on other factors, it may be impossible to make both of them fall in the suggested range (this is not uncommon when using ozone, which tends to raise pH without a corresponding change in TA). When this happens, ignore the TA and focus on the pH. If your pH is in the right range and your water is not cloudy, TA is of little importance.

Got questions about water quality, chemistry, or equipment?
Email Karen Hunter at:

The ACWT Pool GuruThe ACWT Pool Guru:
Karen Hunter
22609 102nd Ave SE
Woodinville, WA 98077
425 487-3078

To build a Pool vs a Treadmill?


Hi! I am wondering why there are not more pools for hydrotherapy here in Australia yet? I have been researching the water treadmills and believe they would be an excellent rehab process amongst other types of medical reasons. Do you recommend them as an alternative if you do not have the room for a full functioning pool set up?

Thank you, Cathy

Answer (by Cindy Horsfall):

Hello Cathy,

This is a great question.

To build a POOL vs a TREADMILL….
Many things to consider here…

First, it’s important to consider the intent of your investment. After you have considered this,- you’ll want to explore the local laws to make sure you can legally do what you are intending.

If you get a treadmill, your goal would most likely be for rehabilitation work, gait re-patterning and strength building. In many parts of the world, there are laws against anyone but a licensed veterinarian to do any kind of rehabilitation work. Many in the USA have been shut down who have treadmills as its hard to say you are doing anything ELSE except rehab with a treadmill. Not so with a pool as you can change your wording to swimming and resistance work in water and stay away from the more clinical (and illegal) terms used with treadmills.

So the first thing I advise is for you to check your local laws and build a vision that complies with the laws.

Second, you brought up space as an issue… and yes, a treadmill can be carried in through a smaller door, you don’t need the headroom as your work is done at ground level and takes up half the space as a swim spa.

A smaller swim spa still takes up about 8×14 or more in floor space … with 3′ around it you’re looking at needing to dedicate a space at least 14×20. More than this, you do need a larger door or window so that the spa can be carried into the space and ideally you would have at least 10′ ceilings so you could build a ramp up and deck around it for safe access.

Expenses? A treadmill usually runs twice the cost of a swim spa as it’s a highly specialized item. Most likely, the expenses to run the treadmill are less however…

Both are excellent options and rewarding things to offer in your business. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do and good luck!!!! Let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts – – – –

What should I do about ventilation?


Hi: I am putting in a pool soon and am struggling with what to do regarding ventilation. What kind of systems/brand names of ventilation systems have been used to control moisture?

Thanks in advance, Ann Marie

Answer (by Sandy Fisher):

Hi Ann Marie,

I, personally, have a system put in by MM Comfort Systems (they are located in Redmond, WA). It is a full heating/dehumidification system. It works perfectly but was very pricey. Some people choose to just use an exhaust fan. Those are the only two options I have heard being used.

A lot of your needs will depend on your building and your pool area. Is the building heated? What are the materials the building is made of? Are the materials susceptible to damage from the humidity. It is very easy to have mold and mildew problems if humidity is not controlled. Do you have a lease or own the building? If you have a lease, you could be liable for all damages to the building from humidity so you will want to proceed with caution. Talk to the landlord and make sure you do whatever needs to be done to protect yourself. When I was looking t leased space, they required the walls to be painted with special paint and a dehumidification system to be installed (that wouldn’t be allowed to leave when the lease expired).

There is currently a discussion on dehumidifiers on the Yahoo discussion group. If you are not yet a member, you may wish to join that group. Here is the discussion:

Original Post:

Hi, Anyone out there tried or researched using a self standing de-humidifier to help with the moisture in your building or room? They have them that suck up 32 pints or more in a 24 hour period. Is this enough?

Response #1: A lot of it will depend on if you are heating the building (and to what temperature) when the weather turns cold. The colder the air, the more condensation you have, the more humidity you will have. Also, the surface area of the pool, how long the pool will be uncovered and what kind of cover you have will make a difference. What kind of building do you have and how tolerant of wet conditions is it? Can you use the dehumidifier in wet locations? Sounds silly since it is taking humidity out of the air, but they aren’t all necessarily made to be used around a pool.

Here’s a link to some dehumidifiers that can be used in pool areas:

The ones that handle indoor pool areas talk about taking care of 200 pounds of water a day (not pints). They start around $2,000. I would try and find out how noisy they are (not sure if they are like heaters where they make a lot of noise or not). Maybe call the company and see what they would recommend for your particular situation.

We have a full dehumidification system and are extremely happy with it. Our system is set to heat the air (and pool) as well as take the humidity out. A great system. However, very pricey but it is an investment. If you try shortcuts and have mold and mildew or the building gets damaged because the humidity couldn’t be controlled, you will end up spending more money in the long run. I’m amazed at how often our system is running even in the summer when it’s hot outside.

Response #2: I think that is about the size of my dehumidifier, and I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t even use it in the summer, I just have fans on and keep the windows open. I also have my pool covered when not in use, I will even put the covers back on if there is more than an hour between appointments. That really cuts down on the humidity. In the winter I have more of a problem, of course. It does get humid during the day, but I always have the windows open at least a little bit. At night I put several fans on and keep the dehumidifier running. I usually empty it before I go to bed and then as soon as I get up in the morning. If you can run a drain to the outside so the container doesn’t fill up, that would be preferable. It is an option for mine, I just haven’t done it yet! If you are trying to use the pool for heat and have it uncovered all the time, this size would definitely not work.

Which pool will be most tolerant of dog hair?


I am looking into starting a k9 swiiming pool. I need recommendations on which pools will be most tolerant of the hair.

Thanks,- Jennifer G.

Answer (by Cindy Horsfall):

Hi Jennifer!ย You can read the following topic on the ACWT website:ย What kind of pool or spa should I get?

When choosing a pool, the filter and circulation system will be very important. It’s best to work with the pool contractor or manufacturer of the spa/pool to set up a system that will be able to handle large amounts of hair. Filter and pump sizes are all dependent on the pool or spa size you select.

Pools and swim spas are usually built for people and pool maintenance companies always talk about hair nets and such… so most pool contractors and companies aren’t comfortable with HAIR… let alone DOG HAIR… so this is where you need to ask for them to think outside the box. You need to beef up any circulation system to push that hair through the filters. You should pay attention to the hair catch pots in your pool and can even ask for more or bigger catch pots which are designed to catch the hair BEFORE it goes to the filters. Some like the cartridge filters for hair as you don’t have to clean them but just toss them away and put in another one, while sand and DE filters you have to clean and backwash.

Hope this helps!