Regional IAAMB/ACWT Conference (2017)


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


Friday May 19, 9 AM – 12:30Β 

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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” – 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 – 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 – 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