When we visit our local pool, or a hotel pool when we travel, we have the expectation that the water is healthy and won’t make us or our family sick. We also have the expectation that we will be safe both in and around the pool area. Fortunately, when a pool facility is operated properly to prevent these issues, the water is also clear and inviting. Proper maintenance of a pool focuses on preventing drowning, illness, and injury. These are the most critical goals.
There are a few simple rules of prevention. The first one is to make sure that the pool you visit employs or contracts with a professional who is trained and certified, because no “simple rules” can prevent every hazard. The second is to follow the Seven Tips for Safer Swimming. If you see any problems, ask the pool manager to address them. And, if you enjoy getting into your own backyard pool, these tips should also be followed.
1. Look at the pool water. Is it clean and clear? Can you see the bottom drain?
2. Test the water for proper chlorine and pH with test strips found at any swimming pool supply or home improvement store. Chlorine levels, pH and turn-over rates through the filtration system must be consistent with those required by the local code or the facility’s design specifications.
3. If the main drain cover is damaged or missing, do not get in the water and alert the facility manager. Teach your children to never play with or near drain covers. All main drain covers must comply to theVGB Act. Compliant covers have either a domed shape or are large grates.
4. Ask if the facility has a person on staff who is certified in pool operation.
5. Supervise your children. Don’t assume a guard or others are watching your child. Always keep your child within an arm’s length from you when in the water. Enroll children and adults in swim lessons as a life-long safety skill.
6. Use sunscreen to protect from sunburn and reapply after swimming.
7. Follow the 6 Pleas recommended by the CDC. Do not use the pool if you have had diarrhea within two weeks – this is critical since some disease-causing organisms like Cryptosporidium are resistant to chlorine. Do not urinate in the pool as urine makes chlorine ineffective and can cause unhealthy disinfection by-products.
The standard of care in the United States is to have a certified operator from a nationally recognized program operating your swimming pool. Facilities often select one of two options to ensure they benefit from a knowledgeable professional. In some cases, they have management and maintenance staff trained and certified. Alternatively, a service company is hired that has certified operators on staff.
The National Swimming Pool Foundation® is the leading training organization in the U.S. and has trained and certified over 340,000 people. Each year, about 25,000 people are trained and graduate from the Certified Pool-Spa Operator® (CPO®) certification program around the globe.
There are lots of things that can go wrong if the pool is not properly maintained and cared for by a certified pool operator. Be sure you ask if a certified pool operator is caring for the pool you visit.
Thanks to Laurie Batter of the National Swimming Pool Foundation for today’s post!
And here is a link to Jabari's blog!http://www.jabariofthewater.com/professional-pool-care/