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Pool Maintenance

These Skaters Are Willing To Clean Your Pool For Free

Steve Alba and his crew of skaters are willing to clean your pool on one condition, that you let them use it to skate in when the job is done.



These Skaters Are Willing To Clean Your Pool For Free

In the sprawling landscapes of Southern California, where residential pools dot the suburban neighborhoods, a unique subculture thrives. Led by Steve Alba, revered as the godfather of pool skating, a group of enthusiasts has found a novel way to merge their love for skateboarding with the practical task of pool maintenance.

The Allure of Skating Pools

With over 10 million residential pools in the United States, the allure of an empty swimming pool in Southern California is irresistible to skateboarders. It’s a blank canvas for daring maneuvers and gravity-defying tricks. But before the thrills begin, there’s the less glamorous work of cleaning the pool. Despite his age of 61, Alba still rolls up his sleeves and offers his services for free, provided homeowners allow him and his friends to skate in the emptied pool afterward.

Alba’s van is a mobile workshop, equipped with all the tools needed for pool maintenance alongside a crucial addition: a skateboard. For decades, Alba has been at the forefront of pool skating culture, embodying the spirit of exploration and ingenuity that defines the sport. “The ultimate goal is to skate the pool,” Alba explained to the Wall Street Journal, reflecting on his lifelong passion for finding and riding the perfect transition.

Skating Pools Goes Way Back

The concept of skating empty pools harks back to the 1970s, an era when skateboarders repurposed backyard pools and urban terrain to emulate the sensation of surfing. Today, with skateparks aplenty, some skaters still crave the raw, organic experience of navigating the curves and transitions of a pool’s concrete shell.

The allure of backyard pools is deeply primal for skateboarders. While city-sanctioned skate parks abound—with the Skatepark Project, a California-based nonprofit, estimating around 3,500 in the U.S. in 2019—to dedicated pool skaters, purpose-made bowls and ramps can feel repetitive and almost too simplistic, particularly when they’re inundated by scooter-pushing tweens.

Skaters Willing To Clean Pools For Pool Time

Pitching their services to homeowners requires finesse and persuasion. Ozzie Ausband, another enthusiast of pool skating, utilizes satellite imagery and a personal charm to win over potential clients. His pitch includes promises of regular maintenance, respectful usage, and a demonstration of his skating skills to reassure homeowners of his credibility.

For homeowners, the allure lies not just in the novelty of having skateboarders in their backyard but also in the practical benefits. Salba Pool Cleaning doesn’t just drain and skate; they also undertake yard maintenance tasks and repairs as needed. Ausband, explained that the homeowner is essentially getting a free service, so long as the crew at Salba Pool Cleaning can bring their boards and skate the pool when the job is done.

Getting a ‘Permission Pool’

Initially met with skepticism, their unconventional proposition has evolved into a successful endeavor over the decades. Their pitch now includes the signing of liability waivers to address homeowners’ concerns.

For many homeowners burdened with neglected pools, the proposition is a blessing. What was once an eyesore transforms into a hub of excitement. Alba and his crew recognize the untapped potential hidden beneath neglect. To them, the ideal pool isn’t just defined by its shape but also by the quality of its surface, particularly favoring pools constructed between 1950 and 1977.

However, the service isn’t without its challenges. Skating can leave its mark on pools, requiring repairs and repainting. Participating in a skate session at a “permission pool” often involves contributing to chores. Lance Mountain, a seasoned pro and a Nike skateboarding team member, endured hay fever while assisting with yard work to earn pool time. On one occasion, Mountain found himself pouring and shaping concrete with his fellow skaters to resurface a pool bottom. They labored until late into the night, illuminated solely by iPhone flashlights.

Worth The Price of Admission

Yet, for many homeowners like Daniel Lizarde, the agreement was well worth it. After Salba Pool Cleaning finished their work, Lizarde’s pool was restored from a duck pond to its former glory. The homeowner was pleased he could see the bottom of his pool for the first time in ages.

Overall, the give-and-take nature of the arrangement between pool owners and Salba Pool Cleaning is a symbiotic relationship of sorts where both parties benefit. Pool owners receive much-needed maintenance services and a revitalized pool space, while Alba and his crew gain access to unique skating opportunities and foster meaningful connections within their community.

Featured Photo Credit: Steve Alba @salba69

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Recent Leslie’s/Harris Poll Study Shows Nearly Three-Quarters of Americans Mistakenly Assume Clear Pool Water Is Clean, Swim-Safe Water



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Leslie’s AccuBlue Home® Delivers First 10-Point At-Home Pool and Spa Water Testing Solution to Ensure a Safe 2024 Swim Season

PHOENIX, March 26, 2024 – Clear-looking pool water is mistakenly assumed to be safe for swimming, according to a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Leslie’s, the leading and most trusted consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry.

According to the poll, 71% of those surveyed believe that clear water is clean and safe for swimming. However, even clear water can contain contaminants that pose a danger to swimmers, and pool owners shouldn’t assume a pool is safe just because the water is clear.

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie's found 71% of Americans mistakenly assume that clear pool water is clean and safe for swimming. Water testing is crucial to ensure healthy pool water, and Leslie's makes it easy with its new AccuBlue Home water testing program.
A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie’s found 71% of Americans mistakenly assume that clear pool water is clean and safe for swimming. Water testing is crucial to ensure healthy pool water, and Leslie’s makes it easy with its new AccuBlue Home water testing program.

The news arrives as Leslie’s launches its water safety education campaign for the 2024 swim season. Leslie’s is spreading awareness of the three primary tenets of pool safety: maintaining healthy and safe water, securing the pool area, and participating in swimming lessons and water safety education.

“As we head into the 2024 swim season, our aim is to help educate pool owners on the tenets of pool safety. Among those tenets is maintaining healthy water, and we make it easy for pool owners to test and treat their water, creating a safe environment for all,” said Clay Spann, SVP of Merchandising at Leslie’s.

“We aren’t surprised by these survey results, as there are many misconceptions related to pool water chemistry,” Spann said. “The only way to really know if pool water is clean, healthy, and safe for swimming is to check if the water is properly balanced and sanitized. To be certain of this, owners must regularly test the pool water’s chemistry makeup and precisely measure 10 different components, including pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, metals, phosphates, sanitizer levels, and more.”

The Leslie’s/Harris Poll survey also revealed that 71% of Americans who are responsible for maintaining a pool say keeping water safe is complicated, a misperception Leslie’s aims to correct with its AccuBlue® and AccuBlue Home® testing and treatment solutions.

Leslie’s makes water testing simple with its industry-leading AccuBlue technology — the only pool and spa water test that covers all 10 water chemistry components. In just 60 seconds, this free, in-store water test delivers a hardcopy printout with a water quality score and step-by-step customized water treatment plan to help keep pool water balanced. Pool and spa owners have relied upon this professional-grade testing over the past six decades, with more than 50 million tests conducted by Leslie’s store teams.

The same survey revealed that 81% of Americans who maintain their own pools wish there was a home technology solution for comprehensive 10-point pool water testing.

Last May, Leslie’s made water testing even easier and more convenient when the company launched its AccuBlue Home® membership program, which offers the same leading in-store testing technology, engineered into a compact at-home device. The AccuBlue Home testing device connects to the Leslie’s app to deliver a water quality score and customized water treatment plan to the user’s mobile phone or tablet.

Since its launch, AccuBlue Home has been embraced by pool owners, who value its convenience and accuracy. The membership program has earned a nearly five-star rating in member reviews with comments echoing exactly what it is designed to do: “takes all the guesswork out of testing your pool water” and “this little machine does everything the one in the store does.”

AccuBlue Home: How It Works
The technology is sophisticated, but the process is simple.

Users simply insert a pool water sample into the water test disk and place it into the AccuBlue Home testing device. They then open Leslie’s app on their mobile device to start the test, and AccuBlue Home does the rest. Light wavelengths pass through the water sample to precisely measure the water’s chemistry makeup, and the app delivers the water test quality score and a step-by-step customized treatment plan in just 60 seconds. The app enables pool and spa owners to order home delivery of chemicals needed to execute the water treatment plan.

An AccuBlue Home membership costs $50 a month, which includes the home testing device for free, as well as $50 in Leslie’s credits each month for purchases online, in app, or in stores. AccuBlue Home members can use their monthly credit to purchase any products from Leslie’s, including sanitizers and balancing chemicals, as well as floats, games, and other accessories to make the most out of pool days.

Marianne Trusty, president of Pool Magazine, said, “We’ve long recognized the importance of comprehensive 10-point testing for healthy and safe water and to maintain the longevity of pool equipment. Leslie’s has always been a leader, and it’s remarkable that they have driven their in-store technology into such a sleek device and an easy-to-use approach for pool and hot tub water testing.”

Virtual Pool Water Assistant
The AccuBlue Home device, measuring just 4.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall, is small, stylish, and self-contained, resembling a virtual assistant device — in this case, a virtual pool water assistant. It incorporates photometric testing technology with optical sensors, as well as a centrifuge, replaceable test disks, and more.

Click here to learn more about AccuBlue Home, the first at-home pool and spa water testing solution that covers 10 crucial water chemistry components with a membership program that pays for itself. 

About Leslie’s 
Founded in 1963, Leslie’s is the largest and most trusted direct-to-consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry. The Company serves the aftermarket needs of residential and professional consumers with an extensive and largely exclusive assortment of essential pool and spa care products. The Company operates an integrated ecosystem of more than 1,000 physical locations and a robust digital platform, enabling consumers to engage with Leslie’s whenever, wherever, and however they prefer to shop. Its dedicated team of associates, pool and spa care experts, and experienced service technicians are passionate about empowering Leslie’s consumers with the knowledge, products, and solutions necessary to confidently maintain and enjoy their pools and spas.

For more information about Leslie’s, visit or follow and engage with us: @lesliespoolcare on Instagram, Leslie’s on Facebook, and @lesliespoolcare on Twitter.

Survey Method:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie’s from March 5-7, 2024, among 2,087 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 314 are maintaining a pool. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.

Media: Mardi Larson, Amendola for Leslie’s, [email protected], 612.384.4383

SOURCE Leslie’s, Inc.

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Pool Maintenance

Sustainability & Swimming Pools: Diving Into An Eco-Friendly Future

When it comes to swimming pools, sustainability has become the definitive watchword in recent years and is spurring eco-friendly solutions.



Sustainability & Swimming Pools: Diving Into An Eco-Friendly Future

Let’s face it, today, sustainability and swimming pools go hand-in-hand. As the world becomes more conscious of the environment, the quest for eco-friendly solutions extends to every aspect of our lives, including recreational spaces like swimming pools. The traditional image of a pool conjures up thoughts of chemical treatments and high energy consumption. However, the emergence of eco-friendly swimming pools offers a refreshing alternative, incorporating cutting-edge technologies to minimize environmental impact.

Sustainability & Swimming Pools

6 Incredible Innovations in Sustainability

The key to achieving a sustainable swimming pool lies in reimagining water treatment. According to insights from Piscine Global, a leading authority in pool and wellness events, several groundbreaking technologies are reshaping the industry:

1. Salt Chlorinators

This chemical process for water treatment eliminates the need for storing toxic products and produces no harmful by-products. Salt chlorinators provide a safer and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional chlorine treatments.

2. Ultraviolet Radiation

Utilizing ultraviolet radiation directly impacts the DNA of micro-organisms, halting their development. This method not only reduces chemical consumption by an impressive 80-90% but also ensures safe handling without the need for special measures.

3. Active Oxygen

With no negative impact on the skin or mucosa, active oxygen treatment relies on a natural molecule that dissolves in water, releasing oxygen. This method represents a gentle yet effective approach to water disinfection.

4. Ozone Treatment

Ozone treatment is employed to make water potable by destroying harmful micro-organisms without generating any by-products. This eco-friendly method ensures water safety without compromising the environment.

5. Neolysis

Combining salt electrolysis technology with ultraviolet radiation, the Neolysis system represents a synergistic approach to efficient and sustainable water treatment and disinfection. This innovation maximizes the benefits of two proven methods.

6. Freepool

Freepool takes the eco-friendly approach a step further by combining salt electrolysis technology with ultraviolet radiation. Additionally, it incorporates an in-water CO2 injection system, allowing for the correction of pH levels and a substantial reduction in water consumption. This holistic approach addresses multiple aspects of water quality and resource conservation.

Designing a More Sustainable Swimming Pool

Two Emerging Types of Eco-Friendly Swimming Pools

High-Tech Water Treatment Pools

These pools embrace advanced water treatment technologies, aiming to keep the environment in mind while providing a pristine swimming experience. The innovations in this category focus on reducing chemical usage, minimizing waste, and lowering energy consumption.

Bio-Pools or Natural Pools

Bio-pools represent a harmonious blend of technology and nature. Emulating the structure and function of natural ecosystems, these pools strive for a zero environmental impact. They rely on biological filters, aquatic plants, and a careful balance of organisms to maintain water quality without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Incredible Innovations in Swimming Pool Sustainability

Designing Swimming Pools For Sustainability

Swimming pools are a source of joy and relaxation for countless individuals, offering a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, the environmental impact of traditional pool designs and maintenance practices has raised concerns about sustainability. Today, there are innovative ways to create a more eco-friendly and sustainable swimming pool, taking into account both construction and ongoing maintenance.

Sustainable Pool Construction

Natural Filtration Systems: Traditional chlorine-based pool systems can have adverse effects on the environment. Consider integrating natural filtration systems, such as aquatic plants and biofilters, into your pool design. These systems not only help maintain water clarity but also reduce the need for chemical treatments.

Recycled Materials: Opt for eco-friendly construction materials, such as recycled steel, glass tiles made from recycled materials, and reclaimed wood. Choosing sustainable materials not only minimizes environmental impact but also adds a unique touch to your pool design.

Energy-Efficient Pumps and Lighting: Select energy-efficient pool pumps and LED lighting to reduce electricity consumption. Energy-efficient pumps save power while effectively circulating water, and LED lights consume less energy than traditional halogen or incandescent options.

Eco-Friendly Water Management

Rainwater Harvesting: Implement a rainwater harvesting system to collect and store rainwater for pool use. This not only conserves water but also reduces reliance on municipal water sources, contributing to overall water sustainability.

Solar Heating Systems: Embrace solar energy to heat your pool. Solar heating systems are a renewable and cost-effective alternative to traditional gas or electric heaters. Harnessing the power of the sun decreases your pool’s carbon footprint while extending your swimming season.

Sustainable Pool Maintenance

Chemical-Free Alternatives: Explore chemical-free alternatives for water maintenance. UV and ozone systems are effective at sanitizing pool water without the need for excessive chlorine. These alternatives are gentler on the environment and promote healthier swimming conditions.

Natural Cleaning Products: Choose natural cleaning products over chemical-laden options. Biodegradable and eco-friendly pool cleaners are readily available and help maintain water quality without harming the environment.

Regular Maintenance Practices: Adopt a proactive approach to pool maintenance, fixing leaks promptly and ensuring proper filtration. Regular maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your pool but also reduces the need for extensive repairs and replacements, minimizing waste.

Why Sustainability Become More Important When It Comes To Swimming Pools

Why Sustainability Become More Important

In recent years, sustainability has become a prominent consideration in the realm of smart swimming pools, driven by a convergence of factors. Heightened environmental awareness, particularly regarding climate change, has prompted a societal shift toward eco-consciousness. This, coupled with the influential preferences of the millennial generation, has spurred a demand for sustainable practices in various industries, including recreation and leisure.

Additionally, regulatory pressures, advancements in technology facilitating eco-friendly water treatment, and the economic benefits associated with reduced resource consumption contribute to the growing emphasis on sustainability.

Businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, are leveraging sustainability not only to comply with regulations but also to appeal to socially conscious consumers and differentiate themselves in the market. The trend is amplified by the influence of social media, where positive portrayals of eco-friendly swimming pools contribute to enhanced public perception and market competitiveness. As a result, sustainability has evolved into much more than merely a buzzword and is now shaping the way swimming pools are designed, operated, and perceived.

What Does The Future Hold For Sustainability In The Pool Industry?

Over the next decade, the swimming pool industry is poised for a transformative shift, with sustainability practices at the forefront of its evolution. Anticipated trends include the widespread adoption of eco-friendly designs and construction, where pools prioritize environmentally conscious features.

The integration of smart technologies and automation will optimize energy efficiency and water management, enhancing both user experience and sustainability. Advancements in water treatment methods will continue, with a focus on high-tech solutions that reduce reliance on traditional, resource-intensive practices. The popularity of natural and bio-pools, devoid of harsh chemicals, is expected to rise as advances in biological filtration make these sustainable alternatives more accessible.

Energy-efficient pool equipment, such as solar-powered technologies, will become mainstream, contributing to a shift towards renewable and cost-effective energy sources. Regulatory compliance and certification programs emphasizing eco-friendly practices will likely become more stringent, driving businesses to showcase their commitment to sustainability. Education and awareness initiatives will play a crucial role in informing pool owners and industry professionals about sustainable practices, fostering a more environmentally informed consumer base.

In response to consumer demand, the industry is expected to witness a rise in green certifications, emphasizing a commitment to sustainability. Collaborations with environmental initiatives will become more prevalent, and businesses have already begun actively contributing to broader sustainability goals. Additionally, a sense of social responsibility and community engagement will be integral to industry operations, reflecting the growing importance of sustainability as a societal norm.

The Future Looks Brighter

The future of the swimming pool industry appears notably brighter due to the increasing emphasis on sustainability, technological advancements, and evolving consumer preferences. The shift towards sustainable pool designs, construction materials, and water treatment methods reflects a broader commitment to environmental responsibility, aligning with the global focus on combating climate change.

Technological innovations are also illuminating the industry’s path forward. The integration of modern technologies and automation not only enhances the efficiency of pool operations but also introduces energy-saving measures and sophisticated water management systems. This technological leap forward not only improves the overall pool experience but also positions the industry as a leader in leveraging innovation for sustainable practices. As the industry continues to embrace these positive changes, it is poised to not only meet the expectations of environmentally conscious consumers but also contribute to a more sustainable and enjoyable future for recreational water spaces.

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Pool Equipment

Help Your Customers Rule the Pool With a Fully Connected Pool




Help Your Customers Rule the Pool With a Fully Connected Pool

In 2023, the “smart home” concept continues to trend. Homeowners want a more maintenance-free space with automated thermostats, lights, blinds, and more. 

However, this concept can also enhance and improve outdoor spaces, and it’s especially appealing to pool owners. With automation in their toolkit, pool professionals can make a splash and make their customers’ lives easier.

Diving into pool pump automation.

Every good story begins with a hero. One of the unsung heroes of the pool industry is variable speed and flow technology. What makes variable speed and flow so notable is its incredible energy efficiency. In fact, with a third-generation IntelliFlo3® Variable Speed and Flow Pump, pool owners can save up to 90%* on energy consumption. With optional onboard relays to provide automated control of two additional pieces of equipment, pool owners can control additional devices like lighting or salt chlorinators.

While options like this are a great solution for small-scale automation, it’s possible to put most of your customer’s pool features on one easy-to-use management system. And when it comes to the pool, homeowners crave peace of mind! They want the ease of knowing their pool is in great hands and utilizing reliable products and technology. Enter automation systems, a more effortless solution to provide pool pros with a bird’s eye view of problems and the ability to troubleshoot in advance, thus increasing efficiency and delivering white glove service that takes the stress off customers.

Helping customers understand their pool equipment pad and how everything works together is essential. Think of a pool as a person; the chemicals you add to the pool water are like white blood cells, attacking germs and keeping the environment clean. Filters take in dirty water, reduce contaminants, and push out cleaner water, like the lungs of the pool. The automation system is a bit like its brain, sending signals to the different body parts to ensure they’re working accordingly.

Automation systems like the IntelliCenter® Pool Control System provide versatile control. Controlling colored lights, water features, and more with an automation system is a breeze! Pool owners can effortlessly set automation schedules, monitor pool and spa status, and check water chemistry.

Using tools like the Pentair Pro app, pool professionals can also remotely monitor their customers’ automation system. With remote monitoring, pool owners can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy peace of mind knowing their trusted pool service professional can check in and troubleshoot problems anytime, anywhere.

Help your customers RULE THE POOL!

With automation in your arsenal, it’s easy to curate the dreamiest backyard oasis for your customer. Any pool can be transformed from a mundane natatorium to an enchanting water wonderland with connected products. 

The ruler of this watery kingdom is your customer – all they’ll need is the Pentair Home app on their smartphone. With this easy-to-use app, pool owners can monitor and control their pool equipment from anywhere in the world. With the Pentair Home app and automation working together, your customers’ lives become easier. Long gone are the days of frustrating pool management, and here to stay is the era of a fully connected, smart pool equipment pad. 

With an easy-to-manage lineup of pool equipment, pool owners can make more time for the things that really matter: family, memory-making, and poolside relaxation. By providing them with a reliable and connected pool equipment pad, you help them rule the pool.

To learn more, visit hub or

*Savings based on variable speed pump compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day at an average of $0.16 per kWh in a 20,000-gallon pool. Actual savings may vary based on local utility rates, pool size, pump run time, pump horsepower, pump rpm, plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor, and other hydraulic factors. Individual Weighted Energy Factor (WEF) scores and savings may vary by model. 

All indicated Pentair trademarks and logos are property of Pentair. Third-party registered and unregistered trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.

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