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James Atlas

James Atlas

James Atlas, an 18-year veteran of the swimming pool industry, is the owner and co-principal of Platinum Poolcare Ltd., a residential swimming pool construction, renovation and maintenance company with service to several commercial aquatic properties including the Bulls, Bears and White Sox training facilities.

Platinum Poolcare Owner James Atlas came to the pool industry after three years of options trading after college, cashing in his chips to work with father Ronald Atlas, owner of Paragon Pools, a commercial pool construction and design company. An entrepreneur at heart, Atlas quickly started up an off–shoot company, Fountain Technologies, through which he designed and constructed water features for luxury residential and commercial properties.

When his brother took over that company, Atlas founded Pool Watch, a management company servicing recreational pools with lifeguard staffing, facility openings, closings and general maintenance. He sold Fountain Technologies and Pool Watch in 1994 and 1995.

Looking to broaden his skill set in the pool servicing industry, Atlas went back to his family pool business, working as a project estimator for multi-million-dollar waterparks, competition pools, high-rise pools, and other large-scale projects.

After a few years, Atlas began receiving consistent inquiries from residential property owners interested in pool construction and servicing. With his father’s blessing, Atlas took the reigns on those new accounts and formed a new company called Platinum Aquatech.

Again looking to go off on his own, Atlas teamed up with Terry Smith, owner of Poolcare Aquatech, another partner company with Ronald Atlas which focused on the service and maintenance. The two companies merged, with Terry and James owning a fifty-fifty share in 2007, effectively becoming Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.

Company Background

Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd., founded in 2007, and resulting from a merger of Platinum Aquatech, Ltd. (luxury swimming pool construction) and Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.(service, repairs, renovations of swimming pools and spas), specializes in all aspects of pool design, construction and renovation with added focus on specialty aquatic features such as waterfalls, lazy rivers, rock water applications, statuary and other luxury waterscape amenities. The company also provides installation and maintenance services for its customers.

Platinum Poolcare has raised the standards of excellence in residential and commercial pools, spa and waterscape design and construction. We have a combined half-century of experience in building, servicing, maintaining, and renovating award-winning and nationally-recognized gunite pools throughout the greater Chicago area and other Midwest states.

Based in Wheeling, Ill., the company’s headquarters spans 10,000 square-feet of warehouse and office space with 46 trucks, 130 employees during peak season, and one of the industry’s largest onsite replacement parts inventory for quick fixes.

Platinum Poolcare has repeatedly graced the cover of various industry magazines, and has earned hundreds of awards for its designs. The company belongs to the prestigious, invitation-only Aquatech Society for professional pool builders.

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7 Things to Consider When Caring for (or Enjoying) Your Pool 

from Filbur Manufacturing

If you take care of your own pool, you are going to want to know the facts that are presented in this informative post from Filbur Manufacturing.  For example:

  1. Contrary to popular belief, saltwater swimming pools do not take care of themselves.
  2. A pool pump can consume up to half of a home's entire energy output.  
  3. A sunny day is great for pool parties – not so much for pools. 

For the entire list of tips and tricks, click here

Bear cub crashes backyard pool party

from HLNtv Youtube channel

So you're rocking your cocktail, waltzing around the deck of your pool party, visting with friends and family, when all of a sudden, a big bear shows up.  Sounds like a prank, right?  Well, guess again.  As you will see in this video, this actually happened, and it is a wild scene!  What would you do if a bear showed up to your pool party?  Click here to find out what these people did...

Yippee, Pool Party!

From The Association of Professional Dog Trainers

Just like it is a great idea to expose your own human infants to water at a very young age to get them accustomed to it, it is also a good idea to expose puppies in the same way.  Not all dogs understand how dangerous water can be, and the same risks that apply to babies can also apply to your family's best friend.  What better organization to provide some very helpful tips on this matter than the Association of Professional Dog Trainers?  This post gives you virtually everything that you need to know to keep your dog safe around your swimming pool this summer.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Some Water Safety Training Tips to Keep in Mind:

Although not all dogs are fond of water, they should be exposed to it for their own safety. With some simple training and safety devices, you can ease your mind and protect your dog this summer.

Give him a gradual introduction into the pool or lake by holding him snugly and slowly walking into the water. Let him get wet a little at a time and eventually let him swim to the exit. Make it a positive experience with lots of encouragement and praise.

Teach proper swimming technique. All dogs will instinctively paddle when submerged in water, but as inexperienced swimmers, many dogs try to rely on their front legs and do little with their rear legs. This results in an almost vertical swim technique with lots of splashing. It's exhausting and very easy for a dog to become over-tired this way. With proper training, the most vertical of swimmers can learn to use their rear legs, evening out their performance and swimming much more effectively and safely. Keep a close eye on your dog – if you see them become over-stimulated or fatigued, it's time to call them out. If you see your accomplished swimmer dog lowering his rear, this is a sign that he is getting tired.

Dogs have poor depth perception so if the pool has steps, mark them with a big potted plant and make sure he associates the plant as the exit marker. If there are no steps, provide a non-slip ramp for getting out. Spend sufficient time training him to go up the ramp if he's alone.

If your dog plays in a lake, make sure to stand at the place on the shore where he can easily walk out.

Always use a life jacket on your dog in ponds, lakes, rivers, or the open water. Just like with people, it's easy for a dog to develop a cramp in a leg, become exhausted too far from shore, or in the case of rivers or oceans, overwhelmed by tides. Life jackets give your dog the extra protection to stay buoyant.

Keep safety floatation devices nearby, just in the case of an emergency. If your dog gets into trouble, a life preserver attached to a long line is the best course of action to take. Dogs panic easily in the water when trouble hits, and a panicked, flailing dog can accidentally drown any person trying to assist it. Get the dog to grab out to the preserver first and try to reel it in closer to shore before physically trying to help it out.

Training polite pool manners is a must. A big Golden Retriever sailing through the air in her excitement to get in the water is a no-no. Train the canine to "Wait" at pool's edge or to always use the steps or the ramp.

Also teach her that the "Come" command applies to the pool as much as it does to dry land.

Be mindful of the specific needs of your dog's breed. Each dog's physical structure and body-type will greatly impact his swimming ability. Heavily muscled bully breeds exert more energy while swimming due to their increased body mass. Consider using a lifejacket with such dogs for added protection.

Watch your dog's nails! Dogs can quickly wear their nails down to the point of bleeding as they excitedly race around the pool's exterior. Keep a watchful eye on the pads of their feet as well. Repeated launching from pool steps can tear up paw pads; especially for dogs who spend most of their time on grass.

Unless your pool cover is solid and strong enough to support your weight, do not leave it on when your dog is unattended near the pool. Countless dogs, even accomplished swimmers, have lost their lives following an unexpected tumble into a covered pool. Once they're in, the cover is disorienting and it's almost always impossible for a dog to find his way out. If your dog needs to spend time in the yard unsupervised, consider erecting a pool safety fence.

Avoid letting your dog drink pool water. Always keep an ample supply of fresh water around so your dog can drink without attempting to drink from the pool. Also make sure you give your dog many opportunities to relieve himself after a swim as he is likely to ingest water from wherever he is swimming (pool, pond, lake or ocean) and may need to urinate more often.

Make sure you rinse your dog off after a swim to get chlorine and other pool chemicals, as well as bacteria or dirt he might get on him from a pond or lake. Don't let your dog sit in a wet collar as hot spots can develop. Be mindful of areas where water can collect, like ears, groin, and armpits, where moisture-induced infections can occur.

If your dog is overweight or a senior, check with your veterinarian first before allowing him to swim. This is also important for dogs who are generally sedentary. Dogs, like people, experience muscle soreness and stiffness and they're counting on us to lookout for their best interests.

Click here for the entire article

How to Clean Your Swimming Pool

From Pool Gear 

Its the time of year that the swimming pools are being drained, cleaned, and prepared for a summer of frolicking in the water and sun.  Many homeowners are do-it-yourself'ers when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their own swimming pools, but many of them have the potential to do more harm than good.  In this post from Pool Gear Plus, some basic and sound tips for cleaning and maintaining one's own inground swimming pool are presented in an easy to follow and understand format.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

At PoolGear Plus, we understand that our customers enjoy their swimming pools more when maintenance is as easy and convenient as possible. To that end, here's a simple program for cleaning your pool:

-Gather tools: a pool skimmer, pumice stone or tile brush, pool wall brush, vacuum head and hose, and telescopic pole.

-Skim your pool for floating leaves and debris. Don't wait until they sink – they'll be harder to remove and will stain pool surfaces.

-Scrub scale along the water line away, using a pumice stone (keep it wet to avoid scratching tile, and never use a pumice stone on a vinyl liner) or tile brush for tiled areas.

-Empty your skimmer and pump baskets.

Click here to read more

Poolscaping Basics

From Arizona Pottery

While we usually advocate for Professional Landscape Architects to assist in designing any outdoor living space, we also believe that the homeowner should educate themselves as much as possible.  It is never a bad idea to gain knowledge in any area, especially if you are going to be spending a good deal of your hard-earned money to make the best outdoor living space possible for your family.  This post from Arizona Pottery is the perfect primer to selecting materials to surround an inground swimming pool, and will get you started on the path to being an informed consumer for your outdoor living space design:

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Like a frame around a picture, the landscape that surrounds a pool can really enhance its beauty. By adding some colorful flowers and greenery, all packaged in a stunning glazed planter, will not only look stunning but add some softness to the overall feel.

You need to note a few tips before you start your project, to insure that you have the most success. Simple things to consider like selecting plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or flower petals. You don't want to be constantly cleaning the pools surface or taking the chance that something will clog your pool equipment. This doesn't mean that you can't use a beautiful flowering plant, you will just need to place it down-wind from the pool. This simple consideration will help.

Another thing to think about is the amount of water a plant will need. If you select a pot with a drain hole, which is the healthiest choice for most plants, you want to consider the run-off that may occur. Don't place the potted plant on a deck where the run-off can create a muddy patch or dangerous situation for slipping. The damage of constant water on the deck is another thing to think about. Of course you can use a saucer to catch excess water and we offer a wide selection of them. Just make sure it's large enough to hold the water and doesn't run over. If the saucer is to small then what is the point of having it.

Lastly, we suggest you select some plant materials that have bright, bold colors, and heavenly fragrance all lovenly packaged in a high gloss decorative planter. Just a few tips but all worth considering.

Click here to read more

It's never to early to teach you baby to swim

From 10 News Tampa

It can happen in the blink of an eye-your child leaves your sight.  You search everywhere, and you can't seem to find him.  Then horror sets in: your child is lifeless, at the bottom of your swimming pool.  That's exactly what happened to this Florida father, and this video from 10 News tells his story.  See how this story ends, and how it inspires this and countless other parents to teach their children of any age to learn how to swim.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

Palm Harbor, Florida---It's a tragedy we report on all too often in Florida. A child, out of sight for just seconds, ends up at the bottom of a swimming pool.

It happened to a Bay area father just a couple of months ago. He saw the door leading to the pool open and found his little boy lifeless and blue in the water.

Now this father wants to make sure what happened to his 11 month old son, doesn't happen to another child.

Click on the video link to hear how this family hopes to save lives from the lessons they learned.

Click here to see the video

Pool Exercises for Seniors

From Livestrong

As we enter the golden years, many find that exercise becomes a more difficult proposition.  Higher impact activities like running and weightlifting can cause injuries to weakened joints and brittle bones.  Exercising in a bouyant environment like a swimming pool or spa can be the perfect way to keep fit, while eliminating or mitigating injuries.  In this post from Livestrong, some of the easiest and most popular ways to exercise in a swimming pool are explored.  

Click here to see the list of pool exercises for seniors

Here is an excerpt from the article:


Getting older doesn't mean you have to be less active. Seniors looking to keep moving and get some quality exercise throughout the week can benefit from the advantages of exercising in the pool. Not only does the water provide the necessary resistance for working out your muscles and joints, it also provides a low-impact environment for doing so--a benefit to seniors with arthritis and joint pain.

10 Tips to Select Outdoor Furniture

From How Stuff Works

Selecting the furniture around and in which your family will be speding alot of time this summer in your outdoor living space is an important decision.  Most people aren't professional designers, nor outdoor furniture experts, so this decision can be crucial for the comfort of your family and guests.  This post from How Stuff Works considers the many factors involved in choosing the right outdoor furniture for your backyard design, and gives you 10 easy tips for making this process easier.  Here is an excerpt from the post:

There's something really nice about the idea of turning part of your landscape into an alfresco family room during two or three seasons of the year. It's certainly a less expensive option than adding another room to your home. Who needs walls, anyway? Open air living has "green" appeal. It gets you back into nature -- and nature you can control with a flick of the garden hose or a spritz from a can of bug spray.

Making the transition to outdoor living requires a judicious reallocation of resources, though. If you're outfitting an outdoor living area this season, finding comfy, long-lasting furniture may mean the difference between hanging out on the patio for a while to enjoy the fresh air and heading indoors after a few cramped, uncomfortable minutes parked on a cheap patio chair.

Patio décor has to be more than merely attractive to withstand the elements and provide good value for your outdoor decorating dollar. Let's explore 10 things you should keep in mind when shopping for outdoor furnishings.

Click here to read more

Hydrofloors movable swimming pool floor


From Hydrofloors Youtube Page

Hydrofloors variable depth swimming pool floors are the perfect fusion of state-of-the-art-technology with functionality and beauty.

Imagine a swimming pool that doubles as a dance floor or an entertaining room or even a place to park your car? A space that transforms seamlessly from one function to another.

It doubles your floor space and adds to your properties square meters. A swimming pool that can be simultaneously a deep diving pool, a child friendly shallow depth pool or a mid depth pool for exercise and water games whilst also offering the ability to be completely closed for security.

Specifically designed for each project, Hydrofloors works in partnership with your pool builder and architect to create and meet each your unique and individual requirements.
Who said you don't have room for a swimming pool...?  Click here to see the video

For more information look on www.hydrofloors.com

Daily Delight: Jaw-Dropping Pools Around the World


The weather has broken, and it is time to start thinking about swimming, soaking up the sun, and laying around by the pool.  These swimming pools on HGTV's blog will have you truly inspired, if not dumbstruck.  Check out this compendium of jaw-dropping luxury swimming pools from around the world, and be inspired to bring some of these amazing vistas to your own outdoor living space.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

I don't know about you, but the scorching temperatures of August have me daydreaming about cool waters and global getaways. Since my vacation is still weeks away, gazing at these gorgeous pools from around the world will have to do. I'm hoping my next vacation will be a pool-hopping voyage across the globe. - See more here

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