Problem Solver - August 2019
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Understand Aquatic Surface Standards


NSF 50/ANSI standards establish minimum performance requirements for equipment, products and systems installed in recreational water facilities. These standards cover everything from water sanitation and filtering equipment to surfacing on the pool deck. A new standard within NSF 50 outlines the performance requirements of safety surfaces installed around "interactive water venues" such as splash play areas.

Q: What should we know about the new standard for aquatic safety surfacing?

A: The standard covers the performance testing characteristics of safety surfaces, covering such things as slip resistance, chemical resistance, impact cushioning, UV resistance, cleanability and impermeability. The standard helps ensure that aquatic safety surfaces perform as expected, providing a safe environment over time as the surface is exposed to factors like pool chemicals and UV rays.

Q: Why do the standards matter?

A: Beyond the fact that you want to ensure all of the products, equipment and systems installed in and around your pool will perform as expected, many pool codes, including the Model Aquatic Health Code, reference NSF 50/ANSI standards.

Adhering to the NSF standards in terms of operational excellence and risk mitigation is always in your best interest. Meeting NSF standards for sanitation, health and safety can also provide protection from potential lawsuits.

If you are already operating much of your facility according to these best practices, you'll want to ensure you continue to update as new standards are introduced, such as the new standard for safety surfaces in interactive water venues. If an accident occurs that could have been avoided had the standard been followed, it could create potential legal challenges.

Choosing products and equipment that are NSF 50-certified ensures that you are using the safest, best-performing products and services available for aquatic operators. Look for products with NSF certification to be sure you are doing everything you can to reduce risk and protect patrons.



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