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Summer Water Safety

7 Safe swimming tips for kids

From Daily Delights

Summer is half over, and you have probably already been to your local municipal pool, water park, or backyard inground swimming pool already.  Unfortunately, in all of the splashing fun, the most important thing to remember as parents sometimes gets forgotten: Safety around a swimming pool.  In this post from Daily Delights, 7 Safe and easy tips for swimming pool safety are presented as a reminder to protect your children from the ever-present drowning hazards around any body of water.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

It's summertime and there's no better way to beat the heat than a day at the beach or local pool. By learning some important safe swimming tips, you can keep the whole family safe, while still having a great time.

Follow the rules

Always obey all rules when swimming in both lakes and pools. Water safety rules are there to protect you and your children. If you model good behavior, your children will learn to respect the rules as well. Here are a few swimming no-no's:

Never dive into shallow water.

Never run near the edge of a pool.

Never swim in a pool that does not have a lifeguard.

Never swim alone.

Never swim in places that are not meant for swimming.

Never leave children unattended near any body of water.

Prevent drowning

It's hard to imagine if you haven't witnessed drowning up close, but drowning is actually a very quiet and shockingly undramatic experience. People who are drowning are not physically or psychologically able to call for help. This is why drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children under the age of 15 -- and half of the children who drown are within 25 yards of a parent or another adult.

You can learn more about how to recognize and rescue a drowning person in a swimming safety class. And of course, make sure to stay close to your children and pay close attention to them at all times when they are playing in or near the water.

Learn CPR

In case of emergency, it's always good to be prepared. Classes in CPR and life-saving rescue techniques are available for swimmers of every level. Check with the American Red Cross for a class near you.

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30 Beautiful Backyard Ponds And Water Garden Ideas

From Architecture Art Designs

The lagoon-style swimming pool with its natural curves and style made to blend in with nature has been gaining popularity for many years.  Using boulders and more rustic elements gives the feel of a natural lagoon or water garden in place of a traditional rectangle swimming pool, and provides a haven for relaxation in one's own yard.  This post from Architecture Art Designs gives 30 amazing designs for the lagoon style or backyard pond style freeform swimming pool.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Giving life to your backyard can be achieved by doing a lot of things such as planting a lot of trees and plants and arranging it to look as natural as possible.

But there's one thing that will most definitely give life to your backyard both in terms of looks and sound. And that, of course, is a pond or a nice fountain.

The water from the fountain or pond will bring your backyard or garden to life by adding a really natural and fresh look to it, as well as the sound that it will produce from the water falling down the rocks from your fountain.

For that reason, we have made this collection of 30 beautiful backyard ponds and water garden ideas with which we hope to supply you with a lot of creative ideas and hopefully spark a little wish in your mind to create something similar in your own backyard.

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Monday, 21 July 2014 13:26

The Bellagio Water Show in your own backyard?

Written by

Choreographing the Water: Show Control Systems

From Aqua

Many people have stood and marveled at the Belaggio automated dancing waters show.  The nozzles throwing amazing bursts of colored water into the air in perfect synchronization with the music never fails to draw "oohs" and "aahs" from the dazzled crowd.  Accomplishing these automated shows take a variety of sophisticated intelligent control systems, which previously were only available to the deepest of pockets, i.e. someone like a Las Vegas Casino.  As this article from Aqua explains, however, innovations in control system technology is now available to have complicated water shows in one's own outdoor living space, and around their own inground swimming pool and hot tub.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

As backyard and commercial water features have grown more sophisticated, so have their coordination and control. This article explores the technology of "show" controls, from basic to complex, which attempt to choreograph water movement with music and lights.

For most pools and spas and water features, simple, mainstream-market controls are sufficient to meet customer needs and desires. But with the ever increasing demand for automation, remote control (think Smartphone), and more sophisticated and controllable LED lighting and effects, a proper show control system can meet a lot of client desires (at a cost appropriate for the project budget)!

The Essentials – Switches, Timers and Relays

Even the simplest single pump fountain needs to be powered up. Of course this can be done manually with the flip of a circuit breaker or light switch, but the core of what can be considered automated show control incorporates one or more timer. Almost everyone is familiar with timers, from those rotary things you stick plastic pins into to neat digital displays with battery backup, so this probably does not need explaining.

The next step up in timer automation is with the use of relays...a timer activates a relay, which in turn, powers a device or subsystem. This too is pretty self-explanatory and traditional.


PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller. PLCs are vintage technology, having their roots in industrial automation. Today's PLCs have evolved programming interfaces that are user-friendlier than the days of eye-straining Ladder Logic flowcharts, but they are best handled by those with everyday experience programming them. For a small-scale project, incorporating a PLC and hiring a PLC programmer may not make sense to the overall budget. From a creative content producer's (show programmer) perspective, PLCs are so 20th Century and best relegated to low level controls for medium to large installation sanitation/filtration control and monitoring.

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3 Ways to Add Privacy to Your Outdoor Space

From ShadeFX

Creating privacy can be a tricky challenge, whether you have an urban "fishbowl" or a sprawling estate.  The challenge of creating traffic patterns, rhythm, and a design that make an efficient use of the space intellgently takes the eye of a trained designer.  When not properlly considered, these spaces can turn into a problem for the homeowner, and can defeat the purpose of the outdoor space, which is to relax!  This post from ShadeFX gives three great ways to create privacy, while also providing some other ancillary benefits as well.  Using structures, plantings, and other landscape features can seamlessly outfit an outdoor living space properly, and create the best experience for your outdoor rooms.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Whether you live in suburbia or an urban environment, space and privacy are at a premium, especially when it comes to your outdoor space. As you begin to explore options in creating a getaway in your backyard or on your patio, you can leverage some creative ideas that give you the ambiance and beauty you need while optimizing your privacy in a public or semi-public setting.

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Backyard Kitchen Designs Are An Extension Of Your Home

From Dream Retreats Landscape Design and Construction

The "staycation" is a quintessential American phenomenon, and has been gaining popularity for decades.  The American homeowner wants to invest in their home, and bring the vacation to their own backyard.  What better way to enjoy one's own outdoor living space than to outfit the space with a phenomenal outdoor kitchen?  Whether entertaining guests, throwing parties, or just barbequing for the kids in the neighborhood, an outdoor kitchen makes the most efficient use of space, and is the ultimate conveniece.  This post from Dream Retreats gives some great ideas for outdoor kitchen designs.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Along with many others in the landscape architecture and construction industry, we have designed and built many outdoor living spaces which become extensions to the home. An outdoor kitchen is an extension of the home which is constantly growing in demand and design. Depending on our client's vision, we have designed and built simple outdoor BBQ's to complete backyard kitchens which include refrigerators, prepping stations, and bar/seating areas. Our landscape architecture and design team strive for each client to have their backyard be a place of retreat and peace of mind.

We are hearing over and over again from our clients that they want to spend more time at home and make their home as nice as possible. Many of our clients are looking for ways to extend their ability to stay outdoors along with preparing their meals. Extending patios, outdoor fireplaces or firepits, water features and putting greens are ways they are accomplishing this. Essentially the backyard becomes a social gathering place for family and friends.

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