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Arizona eyes concrete standards. (news).

With growing concern over alkali silica reaction (ASR) problems in this state, the Arizona Chapter of the National Spa & Pool Institute is developing voluntary standards for pool concrete.

"The standards will be ... specifically for use in the Arizona market, but would have relevance to pool construction in any other geographical area, as far as the hydrology and geology of their soils go," said Bob Bradley, the chapter's executive director. "Specifically, we [here in Arizona] have issues related to alkalinity and percolation ability for soils to drain."

The chapter started considering writing standards earlier this year because of the ongoing complaints about ASR appearing in concrete pool decks and waterfeatures. (ASR is a chemical reaction between the alkalis in cement and certain siliceous aggregates, which causes the concrete to crack.)

"There are no issues with pool surfaces. The real problem is with deck surfaces," Bradley said. "And we haven't seen the problem in aggregate specialty finishes, but rather, with aggregate use in the concrete itself."

The reactivity of the supply aggregate in the concrete mix is suspected to be one of the contributing factors, along with wet/dry cycling and the permeability of the concrete.

Greg Garrett, a researcher at Applied Material Technology and Mason Mart in Phoenix, is helping put together a panel that will write the new standards in conjunction with NSPI.

Besides covering problems such as reactive aggregate, wet/dry cycling and expansive soils, Bradley said the standards also would discuss surrounding landscapes.

"Once we leave [a job site], we have little control over what the homeowner does with the landscaping or roof drainage and sprinklers, and all those have an effect," he said. "So the standards will consider those issues."

Local industry members are upbeat about the prospects of concrete standards because ASR has been costing them money. "Reaction has been very positive," Bradley said. "People are interested to know what is going on and how they should deal with it. [ASR] is becoming more and more of a problem and we're hoping to eliminate thousands of dollars in warranty work."

The standards should be ready by spring 2003, said Bradley, and will be available at the chapter's office or on its Web site, at

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Author:Dumas, Bob
Publication:Pool & Spa News
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Nov 29, 2002
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