Cathy, Fresno, CA - WaterGuru Case Study
Cathy, a Pediatric ICU Nurse based in Fresno, found solace in her swimming pool during the COVID lockdown. However, before COVID, the pool had been a significant source of stress for her and her wife due to unhealthy water quality. Cathy’s search for an automated technology solution led her to WaterGuru, a smart pool system that allowed her to manage her pool’s chemistry through its mobile app remotely. With WaterGuru, Cathy gained complete control over her pool’s chemical mix, simplifying pool maintenance and giving her peace of mind. The app’s 99% accurate chemistry readings and specific chemical instructions made it easy for Cathy to balance her pool’s water while at work. WaterGuru allowed her to host spontaneous pool parties without worrying about her guests’ safety and simplified the pool science process for her.
For most residential swimming pool owners, their pool represents a place of leisure and respite from a busy and noisy world and a place to party, have fun, and gather with family. For some, however, the pool represents all those things and more. For Cathy, a Pediatric ICU Nurse based in Fresno, her swimming pool became essential to her after-work, wind-down routine during the COVID lockdown in 2020. During the first year of COVID, this routine involved a 20-minute, clean room-like transition from the outside to the inside of the home.
“The unit I work for in pediatrics did not have the same kind of intense, emotional overload that was taking place in other parts of the hospital during COVID,” she says. “However, the stress being put on that segment of the hospital definitely took a toll on everyone else working there, and most of us brought that stress home with us.”
“My pool literally saved my life during COVID.”
It wasn’t always that way. Cathy’s swimming pool used to be her biggest stressor.
with Cathy’s pool started long before COVID, right after purchasing her 2000-square-foot bungalow in the Las Palmas area of Fresno. The home came complete with a pool and even a pool service, which was part of the home’s allure when Carracciolo and her wife purchased it. Immediately upon moving in, Cathy’s wife went for a swim and, 20 minutes later, emerged from the pool with cracked, burning skin. She was in tears, obviously in pain, but also frustrated that their new investment’s key feature was unusable. She instructed Cathy to fire the pool service and to fix the pool’s water quality immediately.
“Her skin was cracking and practically sizzling when she got out of the pool that day,” says Cathy, who immediately went to work on the problem like a civil engineer. “I love technology and tend to be a bit of a control freak, so I set out to solve the pool water problem myself, with the hopes that there was a tech-based solution out there that I could dig into.”
Cathy took a water sample to Beverly’s, a pool owner’s time-honored tradition. The results? Her water was full of phosphates and overchlorinated. According to Cathy, the good folks at Beverly’s said, “good luck with that.”
What’s wrong with an abundance of phosphates in pool water? Phosphates feed potential algae growth, creating what is known in the swimming pool industry as the dreaded green pool. When they moved in, the Caraccio’s pool was flirting with this very disaster.
Most pool owners’ natural reaction to Cathy’s phosphate problem is to shock their pool with a chlorine bomb designed to kill the phosphates. Swimming in over-chlorinated water, however, can lead to a number of health-related problems, including the skin issues Cathy’s partner experienced and worse.
The bigger problem? Maintaining pool chemistry is a science, and most residential pool owners don’t have a science background. Historically, they’ve relied on unreliable measurement tools, such as paper pH test strips, to keep their water balanced.
Cathy solved her pool’s problems with an online search for an automated technology innovation that could fix her pool’s chemical issues. She found a ‘used, but mint condition’ WaterGuru at an online auction site, a rare and timely find. Not only is Cathy an ICU nurse, but she’s also a travel nurse, which means she travels to other hospitals where pediatric patients need air or ground transfer to a different facility. Most of her job is a triage situation. With her WaterGuru purchase, Cathy basically triaged herself a unit. As a result, she was on her way to a much healthier and simpler pool life powered by automation, mobility, AI, and advanced sensor technologies.
WaterGuru’s mobile app is her swimming pool’s chemistry dashboard and automatically populates Cathy’s scientific pool readings on her phone. She works the night shift and appreciates getting an immediate reading on her swimming pool water’s health by simply opening the app. This data gives her 99% accurate chemistry readings from her pool’s water, plus specific instructions on how much of each chemical she should add to balance it out. This gives Cathy complete control over her pool’s health, even when she’s at work.
Knowing the health of one’s pool, even remotely, can simplify pool owners’ lives. Maybe Cathy’s wife and her want to have an impromptu evening pool party? All she has to do is ask her wife to check the pool’s health, and if something needs adjusting, Cathy can walk her through what needs to be done to bring the pool’s chemical mix back into balance while she’s on a break at work. It’s that simple. WaterGuru and its mobile app allow pool owners like Cathy to host spontaneous evening pool parties without worrying about their guests’ safety.
Cathy treated her swimming pool project like a patient. The result is a safe swimming pool where she can find peace and respite amidst the noise and crisis her chosen career brings. She also enjoys a happy partner who even uses it during the wintertime as a cold plunge and serious peace of mind for the Caracciolo household.
“I’m a data nerd,” she says. “WaterGuru makes the pool science so simple, which is kind of an understatement regarding how important that is. There’s more science to keeping your pool water clean and safe than most pool owners assume, and now through automation, that process is greatly simplified. It’s very satisfying. No more pH test strips or trips to Beverly’s!”