Orr Hot Springs website

July 3, 2016

GMC Sierra

1. What are those white floating globs in the communal tubs? They look like dead skin!

The material you may have seen floating in the tubs definitely isn't dead skin, although it may look unfortunately similar. The "white floaties" as we call them are always there in various quantities, even right after we power wash the tubs in the morning before anyone has had a chance to use them.

Since the Bathhouse water comes directly from the aquifer well, without being treated or filtered, we believe there is a mineral (unknown, maybe some derivative of silica) in the water that is coalescing due to changes in pressure and/or temperature, and forming these "floaties".

If there are any chemists out there who might know what these floaties are, let us know! A non-complete list of the minerals in our water can be found here.

8/5/15 - Update from an Expert:

"They are almost certainly amorphous aluminosilcates that begin precipitating when the groundwater pH and T change with exposure to the atmosphere. This is a recurring problem at geothermal sites and in industrial uses of water that is heated and cooled (scale formation)."

2. Why do you charge a rental fee for Bath Towels and Robes? With the price of the room, they should be free!

We agree, however there are certain constraints that we have to work with. The rental fee isn't really to make a profit on renting towels and robes (although it does help when we need to replace those that go "missing"). It's more to encourage people to bring their own when possible.

The problem stems from an aging septic system, particularly our leach field that was never meant to support a consistent population of 40-80 people per day. Despite being over 40 years old, it is able to keep up with our current demand, however we simply can't tax it any more with additional loads of laundry. We've found in the past that offering free towels and robes drastically increases the demand, hence the $1.00 rental fee.

3. Why did you increase the room rates last November? I can't afford to stay overnight anymore!

We are truly sorry if the new rates have become prohibitively expensive for some of our guests. We've always tried to maintain rates that are reasonable for what we offer, in comparison to other Hot Springs locations in the area.

There are, however, realities that come with running a business (especially a rapidly growing business) that have to be considered as new issues arise. For example, due to the recent resolution of Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, we've now had to add 7 new 9-hour shifts per week. We've also been replacing the aging heaters in the rooms. Not to mention the planned overhaul/replacement of our septic system, as well as rebuilding/replacing the lodge around 2017.

All of these projects are being done to keep the business running, and to provide an exceptional experience for our guests. We do find it unfortunate that some people have publicly accused us of "price gouging", which truly isn't the case. If we don't raise the rates, we can't afford to keep the business running as it has been.

4. What is that sign on the Front Gate that talks about cancer-causing chemicals being used on the property? Is there something in the water that causes cancer?

Not that we know of. The sign is the standard Prop 65 posting that businesses are required to put up if there is a chemical on the property that has been known to cause cancer (for example gasoline/motor oil for our chainsaw, or tobacco smoke in our designated Smoking Area, etc.).

The reason you generally don't notice it at other businesses is because they tend to hide it, due to the negative implication. We think that this defeats the purpose, and therefore it is displayed prominently for everyone to see when they enter the property.

5. You've always had 2 cats. Why don't you get another cat?

6. I love the Stargazing tubs. Why don't you add more?

To put it simply: not enough water.

For a more complex answer: the temperature of any pool is derived from two things:

1. The temperature of the input water
2. The volume of the input water

In order to add more Stargazing Tubs, we would have to take water away from the Communal Tubs. Therefore, in order to maintain the Communal Tub temperature of 107 degrees, we would have to increase the temperature of the input water.

Unfortunately the input water to the main Communal Tub already comes out at around 112 degrees, and to make it any hotter would pose a safety risk, as well as greater wear-and-tear on the system.

Also, we cannot get any more volume out of our wells while maintaining the the same geothermal level of heating (we tried when the wells were first drilled).

We currently pump approximately 14 million gallons per year out of the aquifer that we're sitting on, which to say the least is a lot. The last thing we want to do is overtax the aquifer to the point where it cannot be enjoyed by future generations.

7. Could you make the Cold Pool a little hotter?

See question #6.

There are, however, 2 additional reasons why we cannot do this, which are:

1. If we were to add any supplemental heating (or any other treatment), the pool would lose its legal classification as a "Flow-Through Natural Bathing Area", and would become a "Public Swimming Pool", and would therefore legally require high doses of chlorine to be in compliance with current regulations.

2. Since we don't chlorinate or otherwise treat the Cold Pool, the more heat that is added, the greater the algae bloom. While this is perfectly safe as far as bathing goes (drinking not recommended), for safety reasons we need to have some level of visual clarity in the Pool.

8. What is the "Trilby Spring" and why is it called that?

The Trilby Spring is the small tub inlaid into the concrete by the Cold Pool. It has more of a neutral temperature of 100 degrees, and is a good intermediary between the hot pools/Saunas and Cold Pool.

Some guests remember it has the "Lithium" or "High Mineral Content" pool, however after the Great Flood of 2012 that took out our main wells, we re-drilled new wells that now supply all the water in the Bathhouse (except the Cold Pool, which is a separate cold spring).

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