Paul, Frisco, Texas - Water Guru Case Study
Summary: Paul faced a problem maintaining the chemical balance of his pool when his dogs always wanted to jump in. The solution he found was WaterGuru SENSE, an AKC-endorsed smart pool system that analyzes a swimming pool’s water quality every day and sends the information to a mobile app on the pool owner’s smartphone. Using WaterGuru allows pool owners to maintain a near-perfect chemical balance in their pool, which is especially important for dog owners. The article includes a case study of a software engineer named Paul, who uses the WaterGuru SENSE to manage his pool's chemistry. As a result, he can invite his dogs into the pool every day without worrying about their health or chemical imbalances.
Improving Pool Health with Data, for Pet’s Sake
According to the American Humane Society, 38.4% of American households include one dog, which equates to nearly 70 million dogs, and that is on the conservative side. If there are 10.7 million residential pool owners in the US, as PoolResearch.com claims, then that means there are roughly 4 million dogs out there that want to jump in the pool with their owners. Dogs love water! Maybe some are afraid of it, but for the most part, dogs love to swim, and what owner can honestly say no to Barnie when he wants to jump in too?
That is where the problem starts, though. One can be a pool owner and a dog owner at the same time, and the paths of each can merge happily, but only under certain circumstances, because what happens when a dog jumps into a chemically balanced pool? Within seconds the pool is no longer chemically balanced, and the majority of the chlorine has gravitated toward the dog. That’s bad news for the dog and the people in the pool, and if the water is not properly balanced within the next day or two, the pool could inch towards turning into a green, algae-infested mess.
For most, trying to balance a swimming pool’s chemistry is too much to think about, especially for those with a busy career, family, dogs running around, and more. So they outsource it to the professionals. Others try to go about it in DIY fashion and struggle to know their chemistry, minus frequent trips to Beverly’s to get their water analyzed. Some can perfect their environment based on the archaic tools available for over 30 years, but most pool owners just give up and outsource their pool’s maintenance to a pool service. The smart ones have learned through the internet that there are now automated swimming pool maintenance systems that can do the hard work for them.
Paul is a software engineer who refers to himself as a ‘techie’ and resides in Frisco, Texas. Half of the homeowners in Paul’s neighborhood have swimming pools. Paul owns two swimming dogs. When he installed a swimming pool in his backyard six years ago, it was mostly for his two daughters.
“We had the swimming pool installed when they were young,” he says. “Basically, we wanted our kids to do a lot of their social things with their friends here at the house for a number of reasons, primarily because then we don't have to worry about them if we know where they are, who they're with and the environment that they're in. That was one of our primary reasons for getting the pool.”
Over time though, according to Paul, the pool became more of an oasis for Paul, his wife, and their dogs. It also became a social gathering place for their friends and neighbors, and it was not unusual for ten people to be in the pool at any given time along with the dogs. After these parties, Paul, a DIYer, would spend the following day cleaning the pool and recalibrating its chemical balance. If he knew no one would be in the pool for a couple of days, he would often shock it with what is known as a chlorine bomb.
The problem with that move, which is more typical than pool owners might want to admit, is that it presents problems for the dogs (and the humans) when they get back into the pool. Like humans, dogs experience eye and skin irritation from chlorine exposure, and if they drink it, they will have digestive problems. Worse for Paul, the chemical imbalance the day after the party was not only caused by the number of people in the pool but mostly because of the dogs. In the pool industry, the rule of thumb is that one dog equals ten people in terms of how much we each pollute the pool’s water.
If Paul’s dogs were sharing the pool with him and his wife daily, by the end of the week, they were soaking in a dirty pool, considering he only checked his pool’s chemistry once a week. After a few years of using a Lamotte kit, with the help of his daughter, to measure and manage his swimming pool’s chemistry, his daughter went off to college, and the job was left solely to Paul. By that point, he thought, “There’s got to be a better way” to manage one’s swimming pool chemistry. He started searching online and found a few automated pool maintenance platforms. Because it is connected and accompanied by a mobile app, he chose the WaterGuru SENSE as his solution.
The WaterGuru Sense is the only AKC-endorsed smart pool system, sitting invisibly in the skimmer, that robotically analyzes a swimming pool’s water quality every day. It sends that timely information to a mobile app on the pool owner’s smartphone, along with expert advice on what steps the pool owner should take to maintain a near-perfect chemical balance.
“I'm a techie guy, so I wanted to make sure that it was connected and that it had a mobile app from where I can monitor and manage things,” Paul says. “WaterGuru was the only solution that met my criteria. During the summertime, it's like religion. I look at the app every day. Sometimes I obsessively look at it a couple of times a day because when the sun's out beating down, things can go haywire with a swimming pool within a matter of hours. We've had algae blooms explode in the past, an experience that we would like to avoid at all costs going forward.”
The results and Paul speak for themselves:
“Prior to WaterGuru, I wasn't effectively managing my pool,” Paul continued. “I didn't have the right data. Instead, I would use the pH sticks, and it was cumbersome to go outside and use the cylinders to get the water and deal with all that and get the exact number of drips, which really led me down the path of doing the research to find a better, more modern way of doing pool maintenance. At my work, we spend a lot of time talking about IoT, the internet of things, with its millions of industrial sensors, and I think there's got to be something that is for consumer pools. That's how I found WaterGuru, and as a result, we have not had an algae bloom nor any major imbalances in the pool’s chemicals since we started using it. I can’t say the same for my neighbors. The WaterGuru app gives me the data I need to make the right decisions.”
It has also given Paul and his wife the freedom to host the neighborhood’s best backyard BBQs without worrying about their guests getting itchy skin or burning eyes, for their daughters to host their blonde-haired friends on a consistent basis without them having to worry about their hair turning green, and best of all it allows Paul and his wife to travel the world without worrying about the swimming pool turning green.
“We love to travel. I typically have a friend or a neighbor come by the house every couple of days to make sure it is still standing. And now I don't have to worry about the pool because the IoT aspect of the WaterGuru gives me the data that I need to be able to reach back and say, ‘"hey Craig, buddy, can you just go in there and do this and that?"’ And he understands the request, and he helps out because he's got a pool too. I can do that even if I'm on a cruise ship down in Cozumel or hiking in the Grand Cayman. And I have done that quite a bit. Talk about peace of mind.”
As for his dogs? Paul and his wife invite them into the pool every day during the summertime and have no concerns about them developing any health-related problems as a result of the pool’s chemicals, nor do they worry about the dogs destroying the delicate balance of those chemicals, considering Paul can make quick adjustments to his pool’s chemistry on the go. Just as they hire a pool sitter, Paul and his wife hire a dog sitter when they travel. The sitter has full access to a pool full of resort-quality water as a perk for the sitting gig, and the dogs have someone to swim with at the end of a hot summer day.
Without WaterGuru, none of this would be possible.