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Problem Solver - August 2009

Keeping Larger Pools Clean


Pool operators and aquatic directors have to wear many hats, and often among those roles, they must ensure the pool is clean and the water is safe for swimmers. But the average pool isn't average anymore, and if you don't plan for the larger sizes and varying shapes of your pools in advance, you might find your staff and resources are overtaxed with maintaining a clean pool.

Q: We have a beautiful, large pool, but we're spending a lot of time and resources keeping it clean. How can we simplify the cleaning so we can spend our resources elsewhere?

A: A big pool needs to be kept clean just like a smaller pool, but the effort involved can get out of hand if you've got staff manually cleaning the pool. In these times of budget-crunching, you're surely looking to cut back on unnecessary expenditures so you can concentrate your dollars where you need them most.

Many pools these days are designed differently from pools of the past. Architects are planning extremely large bodies of water that are quite beautiful and include desired features like zero-depth entry, but they may also be difficult to keep clean.

Maintaining good water quality in these pools requires regular cleaning. You already add chemicals to your pools to keep the water free of disease, but it's also imperative to clean the surface of your pool regularly. But finding a pool cleaner that can handle the curved pool walls and massive pool sizes can be tricky.

Luckily, automatic pool cleaners are available that can handle the largest pools—from 85 feet and up—cleaning them with speed and efficiency, and with minimal staff requirements.

You'll not only save on manpower when you use one of these cleaners to keep your pool surface free of debris. You'll also be able to reduce the amount of chlorine you need to add to the water, reducing the cost of that resource, as well as decreasing employees' and visitors' exposure to chemicals.

Q: What should we look for in a cleaner to handle pools of this size?

A: Do your research and find a cleaner that can handle large pools. Cleaners that can handle the largest pools will be able to filter approximately 19,200 gallons per hour. In addition, look for a powerful pump that can pick up the dirt in your pool, as well as rotating scrubbing brushes, which will ensure dirt is scrubbed from the bottom of your pool. Automatic cleaners can be programmed with cleaning patterns that will ensure they clean your pool as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You don't want your staff to have to lift these machines, so look for one that is shipped with a transportation and storage cart. With a cart, no one will have to pick the machine up. They'll be able to roll the cart to the desired spot along the pool's edge, roll out a ramp and drive the cleaner into the pool. Retrieving the cleaner will be just as simple. An integral electrical transformer on the cart ensures your machine will have the power it needs, and a long umbilical cord from the cart to the machine will ensure your cleaner will reach all of the surfaces that need cleaning in your large pool.

A built-in remote control operated from the cart will come in handy, and a long power cord from the outlet to the cart will enable you to maneuver the cart to the location most convenient to you.

Q: We're just planning a new aquatic center with a large pool. What should we know before we get started?

A: Too often, owners plan magnificent aquatic facilities without taking ongoing maintenance into consideration. But don't forget, if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. Maintenance costs should always be considered up front, and as your design team works on the specs for your bodies of water, you'll want to ensure they're also considering how you'll keep those pools clean. Learn as much as you can about the various cleaners available, and be sure you talk to the manufacturers about the size and types of pools they can handle before you make your purchase.

With proper planning, you'll be able to handle this tough job from day one. Your pool water will be clean and safe, and your patrons will be pleased that you've considered their comfort and health from the outset.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Brock Enterprises: 800-332-2360
www.brockent.com


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