Did you know that 24 states and many counties require operator training for those that operate a public pool? If your jurisdiction doesn’t require training, should you still get training? The answer is…absolutely as it will save your facility money!
We can all assume that a properly trained operator will yield a safer swimming environment for patrons. But, did you know that preventing outbreaks of recreational water illnesses (RWI’s) can also result in substantial cost savings? The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study in response to a 2006 outbreak of illness from a motel swimming pool. The study showed the correlation between swimming pool operator certification and reduced pool chemistry violations. Statistical analysis showed a lack of free chlorine was documented more than twice as often with untrained personnel. A lack of chlorine can result in outbreak scenarios.
Additionally, city officials in a Marietta, Georgia aquatics center had to replace the main circulation pump at a cost of $9,600. The pump specialist attributed the breakage to unbalanced chemicals and prior management failures. In a 1993 National Recreation and Park Association article, the writer states “untrained operators are quite capable, however unintentionally, of driving operating costs up to the point of budget insolvency. From major damage caused by improper winterizing, to ill-advised day-to-day operating procedures leading to pump failure and other unforeseen budget busting costs.”
Conversely, substantial savings have been realized by those facilities managed by a certified operator. In 2011, the town of Foxborough, MA was struggling to balance the cost of maintaining the municipal pool. Over the course of a season with a trained operator, the town was able to save $12,000, which the director of the recreation department directly attributed to the certified operator on staff.
From reducing RWI’s to lengthening the life of mechanical equipment, and everything in between, becoming a trained operator or hiring a properly certified trained swimming pool operator can result in substantial cost savings for pool owners. With the economy in the United States recovering slowly, we can all benefit from extra savings and safer aquatic facilities for patrons and staff. Regardless of whether you are in one of the 24 states that require operator certification, it just makes sense to get certified. www.nspf.org