Pool maintenance

The key to pool maintenance is consistency

When it comes to operating a swimming pool, you might first think of water. However, pool maintenance can be broken down into three different parts: water, pool equipment, and mechanics.

The water

At East Tennessee State University (ETSU), several common procedures are built in to ensure water quality and keep swimming pools in top condition. “Vacuuming, skimming, brushing walls, cleaning railings and maintaining the chemical balance with chlorine and pH are all essential to ensure that the water quality is in excellent condition for all users,” said Savanna Moeller, Operations and Aquatic Activities Coordinator at ETSU. .

Richelle Williams, watersports coordinator and youth programs advisor at Western Washington University, agreed that preventative maintenance is a must. “It’s really important to have a maintenance schedule and to keep everything as clean and maintained as possible,” she explained. “I use a spreadsheet that shows the maintenance task, how often the task needs to be done, and what cleaning products are needed. “

Swimming pool equipment

Items such as grates, drains, handles, stairs and pool chair lifts are all included in the pool equipment. Moeller stressed that pool grates and drainage systems should be a priority. “Drain covers must be functional, compliant with regulations, no cracks or missing screws, and must respect their lifespan,” she explained. “Drain covers have an expiration date range and a recommended schedule for replacement. “

Moeller has also developed a swimming pool grid that must be secure, functional, without cracks or missing parts. This preventative maintenance will help prevent customer injuries and keep items out of pool drains and filters. “Replacing the grip on the stairs and making sure the caps are on the back of the metal stairs in the pool can also prevent injury and long-term damage to the pool walls,” Moeller said.

ETSU
At ETSU, lifeguards swim a lap around the pool to make sure the water is safe.

Mechanical

According to Moeller, the mechanical side of pool maintenance includes the pump room and the processes that take place behind the scenes to keep the pool clean and safe for guests. “This includes checking the computers and sensors for calibration and chemical feed,” she explained. Backwash filters regularly maintain the quality and clarity of the pool water, while eliminating the risk of bacteria, dirt and unwanted objects interfering with the user experience . “

Equipment update

When replacing or upgrading pool equipment, Williams’ service will upgrade as needed, based on industry standards and the condition of the equipment. “We just upgraded a guardhouse after 15 years of use because it no longer met our needs,” she said. “I keep track of the date of purchase, warranty and potential life of the equipment we buy; it helps to plan major purchases.

Moeller decides when to update the equipment based on several components: operations, functionality and aesthetics. “Operationally, this could mean replacing drain covers, screens, chlorinators, regulators and any parts critical to maintaining chemical balance,” she said. “Updating these components can be based on life, expiration date, or damage. “

Functionality for Moeller includes stairs, chair lifts, automatic doors, emergency phones, and lifeguard rescue supplies. “Many of these items can be repaired, but may require a full update depending on their age, quality, if they are in good working order, or if there is an upgraded version to improve your installation and deliver additional security, ”she said.

Aesthetics include paint, storage, seating, cleanliness, organizational shelving, and personal storage. These can be updated as needed or equipment life and keep up with industry trends.

Member experience

Consistency in pool maintenance has the ability to affect customers more than most realize. That’s why Moeller starts each day by reading pool chemicals, checking the pump room, and calibrating the computer to match his readings if necessary.

“Things to consider include water and air temperature, depending on the type of programs the facility offers,” Moeller said. “Maintaining a good chemical balance can also prevent the spread of bacteria, minimize the risk of disease, prevent skin and eye irritation, as well as discoloration or deterioration of swimwear, equipment and clothing. protection against other risks – all of this can have a positive or negative impact on the user experience. “

Additionally, Williams stressed that pool maintenance should have minimal impact on guests. “Empty and clean hot tubs during times of low volume, as well as continually perform small maintenance tasks so you don’t have to dispute hours of operation due to a preventable problem,” she said. declared.

Keep swimming pools in great shape

While being consistent and organized with pool maintenance is the primary key to keeping pools in top condition, Moeller offered additional suggestions to be implemented to ensure the process runs smoothly.

“Keep several items on hand in case the equipment breaks down,” suggested Moeller. “It can help keep the pool open for guests and
Provides them with excellent service if their routines are not interrupted by emergency shutdowns
and maintenance.

Moeller also suggested maintaining a great working relationship with those who help operate the pool. “Educate your lifeguards on what to look for in pool maintenance,” she said. “The more eyes on the key components of a swimming pool can lead to a positive user experience, the less room for accidents and could even save lives. In addition, good communication with your campus facilities department or environmental health and safety can keep your pool in top condition.