Problem Solver - August 2009
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Ensuring Consistent Pool Operations

Did you know that 92 percent of environmental health professionals or their colleagues have shut down a recreational water facility in the past three years? That's according to research from NSF International and the Accu-Tab commercial pool water treatment group from PPG.To avoid being part of that ugly statistic, managers and directors of aquatic centers need to ensure their facilities are running consistently.

Q: How can I ensure consistent operations and prevent shutdowns?

A: In between inspections, it is up to you to ensure your pool is operating properly. Because if your pool is operating consistently, it is unlikely that you'll ever experience a shutdown.

So how do you do this? Facilities need to be more vigorous on training, especially in this day and age, where you may be cutting back on staff. What happens if you lose the key person who understands your pool's day-to-day operations?

No matter how much you think your operator knows, it's always better to take the time to ensure everyone is properly trained. You and your staff need to be aware of the codes that govern water quality in your area, and you need to know what steps to take to maintain the proper levels of chemicals in your water. You also need to train your staff on the signs of potential problems with your pool water.

Q: How can I make sure the water quality in my pool is consistent?

A: As part of your regular inspection, environmental health professionals will check the quality of your water. The research showed that 85 percent of those who had shut down a facility in the past year cited poor water quality/clarity as the reason. Most of those violations were chemical-related.

Have a regular routine for staff to check the pool water, and keep accurate and complete records. As part of your regular training, emphasize the critical importance of these regular tests and proper record-keeping.

Keep your chemical feed equipment and chemicals at the right levels. State and local government codes regulate these chemicals, so if you don't know what the right level is, ask. You also need to be sure to follow manufacturers' recommendations.

PPG Industries Accu-Tab: