Just Add Water

Just Add Water
  • Written by
  • Dyani Van Basten Batenburg

Back in the day, those school peers with an inground pool were firm mates come summer, and it was the family member who owned a spa pool whose place we were always happy to visit. These luxuries of old may no longer be deemed exclusive but they still herald a crowd. And although the pandemic is largely responsible for major delays – globally – in manufacturing and shipping of swimming pools and spas, there’s no time like the present to float a few ideas.

Right time, right age

For many families it’s not just the cost holding back the swimming pool reins, it’s the age factor of kids and pace of life – sentiments the Wilson family of Tauranga attest to. After owning homes in Australia with pools, and then settling back in New Zealand, they soon missed the social, relaxing aspect of pool ownership, but knew their second pool wind would have to wait – till now.

“For us, the kids are at critical ages – we want them around, we want them off their phones, and with our new home, we want to enjoy it over the weekends – a pool centralises that,” explains Lily Wilson. “We’ve also opted for a heated pool – with solar panelling – so we can use it yearround, and because our daughter suffers from eczema, we’ve opted for a fresh water system instead of saltwater chlorination.”

The breakthrough Naked System – by Aquanort here in New Zealand – is a prime example of fresh water technology, which relies on silver and copper to ionise pools, promising to keep the water free from algae, bacteria and other unwanted and harmful organisms, and chemical and maintenance requirements on the down low.

Whilst the Wilsons were well-versed in NZ Building Code legalisation in and around pools – i.e. height of fence must be 1.2m; a barrier to cover the pool if it’s heated; automatic closing gates; anything permanent outside the pool area that is able to be climbed on, must be at least 1.2m away from the fence – it was the extra costs that caught them unawares.

“We opted for fibreglass instead of concrete to keep the budget down, but it’s the concrete around the pool, the fencing, the underground cover that sits in the concrete, the heat pumps – that have added an additional 40K to the job,” explains Lily. “We’re stoked with final outcome but wished we’d added an additional 20% to budgeting, and if we did a pool again, we’d also do our own Geotech report and ensure our pool company was onto it when booking inspections.”

Swim for your life

For those keen to join the growing number of Kiwis who are now proud spa owners – spa purchases soared last year when the pandemic struck – it’s not just a warm dip and time out you’ll benefit from.

“A daily dip opens pores and blood vessels, aiding the cardiovascular system in more ways than one,” explains Warren Leslie, director of Trueform Spas – who are proudly Kiwi–made and owned for over 35 years. “Firstly, it allows the muscles to relax and the blood vessels to open up, this lowers blood pressure and promotes greater flow. When you submerge in warm water you actually achieve the same lowering of blood pressure you do when exercising for

20 minutes or so.” Alongside cardiovascular benefits, mental wellness, antibacterial and sleep all get the spa tick. “Our Trueform spas are equipped with ozonators – a device that artificially produces ozone,” explains Warren. “Because it’s a powerful oxidant, it kills most bacteria, removes impurities and microorganisms in the water, reduces the total number of dissolved solids so the water doesn’t have to be changed as often, reduces chemical usage and converts back to oxygen as it exits the water.”

Many people know of the physical benefits water therapy delivers, but it also promotes mental strength, adds Warren.

“The hotter temperatures in a spa cause blood to rise to the surface, away from the core, resulting in a greater core clean and relaxation of our pituitary gland – decreasing stress by balancing out hormones, like cortisol, and our happy hormone, serotonin.”

The upshot of a spa action? It’s the perfect body balancing act.

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