The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Pool School class in session. Courtesy photo.

Pool School

Where: Seasonal Specialty Stores, 120 Route 101A, Amherst
When: Various Wednesdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Pool prep
Classes on swimming pool upkeep offered in Amherst

By Angie Sykeny

 Between the opening and closing processes, maintenance routines and water chemical balancing, there’s a lot that goes into owning a swimming pool. Pool-owners and those considering buying a pool can learn everything they need to know when Seasonal Specialty Stores offers its yearly “Pool School,” a series of free, one-day educational seminars covering six different aspects of pool upkeep. 

Sessions will be held at the store’s location in Amherst on various Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., beginning with “Easy Pool Opening” on April 27. 
General manager Anne-Marie Bergeron said the store has been hosting the series every year since opening in 1999, and it’s been the only series of its kind in the area.  
“I don’t know of any other pool stores that do this,” she said. “We just thought it made sense, since we have people in the store all asking the same questions, to get everyone together and have a comprehensive presentation with information that everyone can hear at once.”
Each class accommodates between 25 and 50 students and is led by an instructor with expertise in the pool industry. The classroom is set up right inside the store’s retail space with chairs, a presentation projector and a table with refreshments, coffee and tea. Sessions consist of a PowerPoint lecture, handouts and a lengthy Q&A time at the end.
Bergeron said most people who are somewhat familiar with owning a pool take the classes about opening, closing and water chemistry. Pool newbies should start with the class on opening or general maintenance.
The goal of the series is to help pool-owners save time and money by teaching them the most efficient techniques.
“Once you learn the steps, spending 10 minutes a day on your pool can save you hours of work on the weekend,” Bergeron said. “[Pool education] is important, also, so that you don’t waste a lot of money on too many chemicals and water tests and things you don’t need.”
Pool School class schedule
Pool School 202: Easy Pool Opening offered April 27 or May 25. Learn how to get your pool opened and operating with tips on proper timing, easy cover removal, filter assembly, cover cleaning, opening chemicals, cover storage, ladder assembly, and initial balancing.
Pool School 101: Introduction to Pool Maintenance offered May 4 or June 8. Learn the basics of pool care, including filtration, circulation, vacuuming, cleaning, maintenance, filter cleaning, safety and water conservation.
Pool School 102: Introduction to Pool Chemistry offered May 11 or June 15. Learn the basics of water balance, sanitizers and pH and how to interpret your water tests. Baquacil, chlorine, bromine, Relax, salt-to-chlorine generation and more will be covered.
Pool School 103: Pool Care Lite offered July 13. There will be an overview of the material covered in classes 101 and 102, plus information on small splasher and blow-up pools.
Pool School 303: Above-Ground Pool Closing offered Aug. 24 or Sept. 14. Learn the best techniques for closing your above-ground pool for the season. Clean-up, chemical preparation, covering the pool, pillows, other supplies and preventing winter damage will be discussed.
Pool School 304: In-ground Pool Closing offered Aug. 31 or Sept. 28. Learn the best techniques for closing your in-ground pool for the season. Clean-up, chemical preparation, covering the pool, tubes, other supplies and preventing winter damage will be discussed, as well as blowing out and protecting underground lines, heaters, automatic chlorinators, slides and diving boards

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