Sanitation of pool decks, walkways and locker areas is as important as water quality.

Most comprehensive aquatic management / operation texts specifically identify the importance of “cleaning and disinfecting” pool decks, walkways and locker areas. The concept of disinfecting is simple, yet often over-looked. The most recognized method of sanitation is to use and 5 percent bleach and water solution in the following areas:

DAILY SANITATION: Locker area decks, benches, sinks, toilets, changing tables, shower decks and all walkways.

Daily Cleaning: With the water a minimum, hose down all pool decks. Sanitation if needed as well.

WEEKLY SANITATION: All Pool Deck areas, Benches, Steps, Ladders, Starting Blocks, Hand Rails and Diving Board surfaces.

Frequently pool decks need daily disinfection procedures due to load. Some may say “Who cares if we sanitize monthly versus daily? besides, daily sanitation costs too much.” Well, who uses your facility? The young? The old? People with compromised immune systems? Do families use your facility? Have you ever watched infants and toddlers? They crawl on the deck / floor and put whatever they find in their mouths including their hands and toes.

Consider this: Would you be comfortable licking the pool deck?, Shower deck? That’s what you do when pool water gets into your mouth, the stuff on the decks is introduced to the pool water by swimmers walking to the pool.

Having raised these points, is it any wonder why we have more and more RWI outbreaks? People enter our facilities dragging in contaminates, fail to shower before swimming. So at many facilities, cleaning is reduced because it is "too costly"….Well, if there is a outbreak of a RWI.....THAT IS VERY COSTLY!..........Go figure that RWI transmission is up in recent years.

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Comment by Leland Yarger on October 9, 2009 at 1:47pm
Hi Bill, The YMCA Aquatic Facility Management text (2003) provides instruction of 5% bleach solution to a gallon of water for bath / lockerrooms. Steve Dalcher and I made the same reccommendation in Chapter 13 of the Facility Planning and Design (2009) text, 12th edition. I know that when I operated facilities, especially where there was a heavy concentration of kids, we would use 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water or 1 part to 10 parts on all decks.....just like manikin disinfection, rationale being that sodium hypochlorite (clorox) is cheap compared to the potential for the spead of germs and potential costs for sick patrons. Careful to flush with plenty of water after cleaning.....if you leave the solution on the deck it becomes a serios slip hazard. You also want to make the solution fresh since sodium hypochlorite has such a short shelf life. Wear the normal PPE's for liquid bleach and wear footwear for protection and better grip. I hope that this helps. Lee
Comment by Bill Priest on October 9, 2009 at 1:13pm
Hi Leland,

If you were going to sanitize a pool deck what would you use? 5% bleach straight out of the bottle would be 50,000 ppm of chlorine. A cup in five gallons must be somewhere a little higher than 500 ppm I think. Shouldn't pool water at 3 ppm do the trick? Sure would be handy. Would not do much for Crypto but it would probably be unsafe in the area if you were trying to kill Crypto instantly.

What type of cleaning schedule and sanitizers do you recommend for the pool decks and what are other you readers doing?


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