Friday, October 18, 2013

The Swimming Pool Nightmare!

We are well aware that if we are lucky enough to be someone's choice of holiday destination, they have picked us out of many other countries, towns and varying styles of holiday destinations.  If you want a relaxing, peaceful time, where the children, and you, can enjoy participating with the animals, velvet navy skies with amazing starry night's, all wrapped up with a private pool then we are your perfect place.  After that choice has been made, flights and car hire need addressing, then of course money saved, and counting down the months and weeks for that perfect holiday in the sunshine!  We so want that holiday to be perfect for you.... you deserve it!  So imagine how we felt when it all went terribly wrong during one family's stay.

A quiet, private family with two boys, one a teenager and the other little lad loved to spend time with Alan and I.  Actually no, he adored spending time with Arthur and Blue who happened to be in the same room as us.  After a few days the young lad came up in a rash.  None of us were too worried at first, as apparently he suffers a little from prickly heat every year, however it didn't get better.  We bought a new pool testing kit, plus the chemicals needed for the results either way.  We spent two days struggling to get the balance right with the chemicals, and Alan wasn't happy.  We were very disapointed for them and neither of us were sleeping properly knowing their holiday was not the perfect break they had imagined.  We decided the best thing we could do was to empty the pool and refill it.

We knocked on the apartment door and we sat with the family explaining that we could not get the ph balance correct and we thought we should empty the pool.  We explained that with our water system, it's not exacly like turning on a tap in a UK town or city.  We could run water into the pool for about two hours, but then as our water comes from a spring in the hill, the water deposito would have to refill prior to us filling the pool any more.  We explaned that in 24 hours the deep end would be about a metre deep.  We all decided that was the way to go.  We offered to pay for them for a trip to a water park for a day or unlimited paid trips to the local town pool, however they only wanted a private pool, that of course they had paid and looked forward to!

We immediately set about pumping the water out of the pool, by 1.30 am the pool was empty.  First thing in the morning Alan and I got in, and hosed it all down ready for the big refill.  The water ran through the hose for about two hours then we had to stop or we were risking no water for showers or even toilets later.  We had to patiently wait for the deposito to refill.  The family went out to a trip to Cordoba on that day.

Empty pool.  Final clean

The following day, beautiful clear water!

When our guests returned, they were upset that there was no water running into the pool.  We again explained that we had to wait for the deposito to refill but later that evening we would run another two hours worth of water into the pool.  It was also 40 degrees every day, so I must admit we hoped they would still use the pool for cooling off in, but they wanted it full, we did understand that, to a certain extent however we felt that some water was better than none!  Unfortunately they didn't seem to understand the concept that although our water runs continuously it has to be pumped to another water tank before it makes it's way through the taps.  I must admit we had a rather awkward couple of days.  They told us they had informed the children they wouldn't be able to swim in the pool again for the rest of their holiday!

The following day when we were out shopping I said to Alan "What on earth would we do if we lived in an area with limited water?"  "We would have to buy it in I guess" he replied....  Decision made!  We went straight to our Spanish friend and explained what we needed and a phone call was made.  We would have 12,000 litres delieverd that evening.  They knew our house, the one of the little bridge with the llama's. Nearly right, we must be famous!  With one more couple of hours worth of filling we should be full!

A huge tanker full of water turned up with 20,000 litres on board and of course a deal was done.  "Had we got a hose of 25centimetres diameter?" The men carrying the water asked "Errr no!" Tthey needed to find one.  So they piled into Frank our ole car and did a tour of the neighbours.  Usually a hose of any length or diameter could be found, corrugated sheets, wood, you name it they keep it.  You never know when it will come in handy!  No such luck with our hose though.  They made a phone call, and before we knew it one was on route from Montoro.  That gave them time to dismantle some fencing to enable them to get the water into the pool, via the hose.

The hose arived and was taped on with gaffer tape and the excitement was building soon we would have a full pool, happy guests and we would sleep well...... until!!!!!

We could not believe what was coming out of the tanker.  I joked to one of the men and said "is it from the river?"  He looked at me seriously and said "No!"  Of course we were not very happy with the water but we guessed it would settle over night and we could hoover it up the following morning.  Could we heck!  Although we say that typical phrase, we can get by, with our Spanish, it's times like that we realise we really can't if there's a real problem.  There was no way we could refuse to pay.  We had our pool full of water, now we had to make it look like an inviting swimming pool again.  We began by filtering the pool for a couple of hours during that evening.

The following morning after yet another sleepless night, we were up early.  To our horror very little of the dirt had gone to the bottom, but Alan set to hoovering the bottom of the pool and filtering it for hours on end.  We then felt we had made a huge mistake by buying in the water.  We just wanted the pool to be fit for use for our guests, as soon as possible.

We had already spent around a week of the family's holiday payment on two ph tests, chemicals, petrol for the genny, plus of course petrol for every trip to fill the genny, and the water! We still were no closer to having a pool fit for swimming in.  I asked my Spanish friends on facebook if anyone could help.  Two people from our local town suggested the same man. We found Tony on facebook, a very smiley Portugese man.  We met him at the bull ring and he came armed with chemicals.  He put in a magic potion and we were told in 48 hours it would be perfect.  Sure enough it was.  In time for our guests last day.    It turns out that Tony looks after 3 local town's municipal pools, so he really knows his stuff!  Alan and I went in for a clean around the water line 48 hours later, and the ph balance was perfect.  Our guests had popped out so when they returned we told them the good news, the pool was perfect!  The boys of course wanted to swim on their last day.  Alan checked on them when he could he playful squeals coming for the pool.  He stuck his head rund the corner..... "Everything ok?  He called out, "Not really!" they replied, "It's just made us realise what we have missed!"  We were so sad to hear that, we thought they would have been thrilled to at least have their last day by the pool.

We were very happy when the family agreed to have a bbq with us on their last evening and their was no awkwardness.  They also said had it not been for the pool problems it would have been their perfect holiday.... gutted!


Tiffany Fields said...

That is one heck of a pool fiasco. I wonder what caused the tanker to spew out water that looked like it came with half the riverbed in it. Hopefully the water company sorted it out and compensated you for it. I guess if there’s a lesson that came out from all of this, it’s to clean the pool before you have people over.

Lorna Penfold said...

Thanks for your comment Tiffany. It was a nightmare. Sadly our rubbish Spanish wasn't sufficient to try and claim any compensation. The water had been fine, but sadly the little boys skin seemed very sensitive, but it has taught to be extra vigilant in testing it :-) Lorna