Walmart Launches Water Testing for Swimming Pools

Walmart corporation has launched an initiative to provide in-store testing of pool water.
Select Walmart stores in North America have set up water test kiosks to enable customers to bring in a water sample and have it analyzed for prescriptive water maintenance. The system is meant to mimic the water testing offered by pool and spa retailers, offering customers computerized guidance on what chemicals to buy and add in order to achieve balanced water.
Information thus far has been anecdotal — reports from industry professionals who encountered the water testing stations firsthand in Pennsylvania, Indiana and California. Walmart has not released information on the number of stores nationwide that have installed the test kiosks.

Water testing has long been a major component of the dealer’s advantage over Internet and big box retailers, part of the package of expertise that separates the professional pool store from the mass merchant. By offering water testing along with low-priced chemicals, Walmart is trying to cut into the still-substantial chemical trade that runs through pool and spa retail companies.
There are enormous differences, however, between the Walmart kiosk and the typical pool and spa store water test counter.

Walmart’s water testing kiosks feature a set of instructions a customer must read, understand and accurately follow —independently of trained help, as these kiosks are unmanned.
A typical pool and spa retailer offers a much more customer-friendly system, where a water maintenance professional tests the water and supplies expert advice on chemical application.


A Beer filled Swimming Pool for St. Patricks Day

Benjamin Franklin taught us that “beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  Taking the top spot on our list of happiest places to be on St. Patricks Day is Strakenberger’s Castle in Austria. Why?...... Because they have warm beer pools and boozy jacuzzi's, that’s why. Billed as “The world’s only beer-swimming-pools” the brewery offers guests the chance to wallow in one of seven 13-foot pools filled with warm beer. Kick back, relax and order yourself a cold one while you let sweet, sweet beer wash over you. By the way, drinking the pool beer is not recommended, but it does give new meaning to the phrase "you smell like a brewery!"

Located a few hours outside Munich, the setting for the Starkenberger Brewery castle is pretty amazing. With the glory that's awaiting for you inside, you probably won't want to spend too much time out there.

As a brewery Starkenberger's been at it for more than a hundred years, and is currently, and always has been run by women. This bearded dude is merely one of their minions.

Barrels are stored down in their super gothic cellar, which you could see if you dropped $10 on a brewery tour, but totally don't care about since you came for the beer pools! So, without further ado...

Residing in the old fermentation brewery, there are seven total pools in a Turkish-bath-like room, each of which are heated and contain 12,000L of water enriched with 300L Biergel├Ąger (remote yeast). Fun fact: ever since the days of ancient Egypt when Cleopatra bathed in beer while Mark Anthony was off conquering empires, beer bath's have been rumored to have a healing, restorative effect.

You've gotta make reservations in advance but for $298/ pool (and an additional $6.50/ person) this could be you sharing a beer pool with blonde coeds. Your two hours of beer bathing also come with beer crackers and a "Tyrolean meat spread" plus one non-swimmed-in bottle of suds per person; because actually drinking the pool beer would be insane... right??


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New Swimming Pool Vinyl Liner's for 2014

Penguin Pools offers three new dynamic liner patterns in 2014 to provide homeowners with even more options to decorate their poolscape. Choose from the natural hues of Bonneville, the playful Dolphin mosaic, or the intricate style of the new Sanmray pattern. All liners come standard with the exclusive Ultra-Seam process, which makes floor seams stronger and virtually invisible.

Check out the entire array of vinyl liner selections here.

Cocktail Swimming Pool Design

Cocktail Pools are often described as small, often detailed pools, built on tight lots. However, the term has certainly expanded into a wonderful description of the most popular and fastest growing segment of swimming pool designs at Penguin Pools
 The Cocktail design. 
The Cocktail design, much like its namesake, represents a mix of top shelf materials and ideas served in an attractive, compact arrangement. 
In recent years we have found our clients have developed a taste for decorative detail. This style inclination has been cultivated through their experiences at theme parks, travel destinations, restaurants and also through their media. They come to us with magazine clippings, travel photos, and web ideas all detailing their desire to have a backyard entertainment oasis for family and friends. These exciting and creative ideas include bonfire rings, cascading waterfalls, outdoor pergolas, beach entries, outdoor grill areas, sunning patios, plunge pools, grottos, water slides, practice greens, and ruin walls. 
We have found that size is less important. The trends lean toward moderately sized pools with more sizzle. No longer is the 800-square-foot pool the norm. In fact, it has become the exception. We still build large 20 x 40 pools for clients each year, but more often than not, it’s a 500- to 600-square-foot moderately sized pool with plush amenities.

Just a few years ago, the pool represented the largest portion of a project’s budget. Now, the pool itself is often a much smaller portion of the project total, and the details around the swimming pool may be of equal importance to the homeowner. In these situations, the swimming pool represents one facet of the backyard entertainment area. 
“Cocktail design” is a truly apt description of what is happening. We've even designed a few with the bar inside the pool. It’s a blending of ingredients that captivate all the senses: eye-pleasing environments, rich water sounds, warm toasty fires, fragrant blooming flowers and the alluring scent of steaks on the BBQ. In most cases, each element needs to be appropriately sized to meet a manageable budget — thus, the cocktail design. As designers at Penguin Pools, we have become students of this style, learning its nuances and searching for materials and products that expand the pallet of options we can offer the customer. 
It is important to offer and be well-versed in the gradations of any option you offer. For example, grill areas can range from a simple grill in a wheel cart with fold down sides to a grill built into a stone-faced enclosure complete with warming drawers, refrigerator, ice maker, burner trays, and a sink. Clients can select from that range based on their desires and budget.
We’ve found that being knowledgeable and skilled in delivering a variety of options enables our clients to incorporate something of each idea into an affordable mix, and ultimately achieve a project more precisely targeted to their original desire. 

The Glass Bottom Pool

While the use of acrylic panels in swimming pools has increased in popularity in recent years, this is the first example we’ve seen of windows mounted in the bottom of a residential pool.

This highly unusual rooftop vessel was built by Vision Pools, in Downingtown Pennsylvania. The builder, and owner of this pool decided that he and his wife would enjoy watching their two young children swim from the comfort of their living room, looking up through the ceiling.

 The construction involved a concrete roof supported by a system of I-beams with the six 3-foot- square windows.
The pool features an all-tile finish and stone cladding that matches the home’s architecture. Naturally, the windows not only provide a bottom-up view of the pool, they also function as skylights.

Ask us for quote on your custom designed pool!