Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Swimmers are winners

With the mercury hovering around the 38C-40C mark, the kids have been enjoying their daily swims in the pool. Whilst not quite as refined as the pools in Australia (no filtering or chlorine) it is still wet and a great way to cool off from the ever increasing heat. To prevent algal build up, the pool is emptied, scrubbed and refilled every 3 days, with the old water pumped out to the fields.

Brad has been joining them, justifying his extended time in the pool by teaching a crude form of water polo. In addition to the afternoon “free-time” swims, Brad has also been teaching a more formal swimming program during school time – this is primarily aimed at the “outside” kids, that is those who attend the school but are not part of the orphanage. These children mostly have never seen a pool before and unlike the orphanage kids that seem to be able to breathe underwater, need a fair bit of coaxing to gain the skills necessary to pass the course. He even has a whistle that makes him feel very important.

I have some questions that someone out there might be able to help with (I'm talking to you SA Water colleagues and fellow combat engineers): How can I extend the life of the water in the pool? It's quite arduous to clean the pool every 3 days. I'm concerned about adding salt or chlorine into the water as the water is sent into the fields and could have a long-term impact on yields (would this happen with chlorine?). Does anyone know how I could set up a low-cost, natural filtering system (I'm thinking activated charcoal and sand). I have access to decent pumps.....


  1. Glad to hear that you Brad have been appointed with your Whistle Licence. I hope you are using it in a trustworthy manner.

  2. Also interesting to hear that you have become a 'pool boy'!!

  3. Did you get any answers to your questions? I have an SA Water (chemical engineer) friend as well as a PIRSA friend (who is big into both farming and missions and combining the two) and could pass on the question if you need...