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Matt Gohlke: Fall is great time of year to enjoy your swimming pool

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Matt Gohlke

We have had a relatively mild summer thus far. Although there might be a few more 100-degree days, for the most part the hottest weather is behind us.

With the first average freeze date for the Dallas-Fort Worth area still months away (Nov. 22), we are entering the time of year when weather for outdoor activities is optimal.

Many who like spending time outdoors are aware that fall in the North Texas area is hard to beat for weather. The average temperatures for the next three months are as follows:

September — 78 degrees (average high: 88; average low: 67).

October —  67 (average high: 78; average low: 56).

November — 55 (average high: 65; average low: 45).

These temperatures are ideal for being outdoors, especially in and around a swimming pool. As the ambient temperatures begin to fall this time of year, pool water temperatures also decrease to a much more refreshing level than they were in the summertime when pool water temperatures exceeded 90 degrees on many non-shaded pools (mid-August).

This time of year, the pool water temperature in most pools is in the high 80s, but it will gradually decrease to a much more refreshing temperature. I have found that most people prefer water temperatures somewhere between 80 to 84 degrees, but it really depends on what type of swimming is being done. The following are brief summaries of pool water temperatures:

Warm water swimming. There are some people who like the water to be in the low 90s before they are real comfortable in the water. Many pools in the North Texas area, especially pools without shade, reach the low 90s in July and August.

Casual swimming. Most casual swimming pool users like the water in the 84- to 86-degree range. Many hotels and resorts typically try to maintain their pool water temperature in this range.

Denton area swimming. We seem to hear quite a few comments about 80 to 84 degrees being just cool enough to be refreshing but not too warm. It might seem cold when you first get in, but then it gets comfortable.

Lap swimming for exercise. Most lap swimmers like the water temperature to be somewhere between 75 to 80 degrees. Being active by swimming laps will cause the body to heat up fairly quickly.

Competitive swimming. Most competitive swimmers like the water to be fairly cold, somewhere in the low to mid 70s, depending on the intensity of the training. At these temperatures, the water will feel cold initially but once training begins, the body will heat up.

The earliest date for the first freeze of fall was Oct. 22, 1898, so we should have some time before the swimming pool water gets too cold to enjoy. Even then, if you are not ready to give it up, you might want to consider getting a pool heater, which can stretch the swim season to 10 months per year versus approximately five to seven months without a pool heater.

Get out and enjoy the outdoors!

MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or matt@gohlkepools.com.