Prevent & Solve Water Problems
Ensuring swimmers are safe in the water is your number-one job if you manage an aquatic facility. Water clarity is part and parcel of safety, as clear water provides a clear view for lifeguards. Ensuring water quality is consistent and clear means closely following all of the suggested maintenance practices for your pool and its sanitization system.
Q: What should we know to prevent problems with our pool's water and keep the water clear and safe?
A: A comprehensive water maintenance solution should be designed specifically to meet your pool's needs, using chlorination or bromination as a primary sanitization method. These systems will maintain consistent water quality, using feeders and controllers to continually adjust to changes in your pool's water. You want a system that is tailored specifically to your pool, so be sure you talk to your supplier about your needs, from bather load and pool size to hours of operation and more.
In addition, provide training for your staff on the ins and outs of the system. You need to ensure that a professional is always on hand who understands the best practices for maintaining water balance and sanitizer residuals.
While clarifiers and coagulants are often used for solving water problems, they also can be an effective part of your routine maintenance. Ask your chemical supplier about how to use such products to reduce your sanitizer consumption and remove undesirable compounds before they begin to cause problems.
Q: What are some of the signs that there's a problem with our pool's water?
A: Try to avoid problems by closely following all of the required maintenance and preventive steps. One of the most important things you can do is regularly test and check the pool's water. If you know a problem is brewing, it's easier to prevent it from getting out of hand.
If you are having trouble maintaining a chlorine residual and you are needing to add more and more chlorine to your pool, this is a sign of trouble. Oftentimes, this happens when your pool's water has organic material in it, such as sweat or urine. If your pool's water is cloudy, you may have filtration issues. Algae in your pool is a sign of chlorination problems.
If you discover that your pool has a high combined chlorine level, you need to address the problem right away. Combined chlorine, or chloramines, can cause discomfort for swimmers and are a sign that your water-maintenance practices have gone off course. Once combined chlorine levels rise, you'll need to shut down your pool and shock it, requiring the pool to be shut down temporarily.
Q: What else should we know?
A: The best way to keep your aquatic facility open and safe for swimmers is to follow best practices in maintenance. Be aware of the regular maintenance requirements for your filtration and sanitization systems, and be sure you're cleaning the surfaces of your pool regularly.
If you don't already know what your local regulations are, check with your local health department. They'll be able to tell you how often you are required to test the water. You should be testing your pool's water every couple of hours, and more often during periods of heavy use. Be sure to keep a written record of all of your regular maintenance practices, as well as your test results.
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