The importance of proper pool maintenance
For those who manage publicly used pools, such as apartment or townhome complexes, hotels and resorts, and public water parks, cleanliness is vital. Swimming pools that are well maintained have clear sparkling water, are always refreshing, and hold up well to everyday use. When a shared pool is in poor condition, it not only reflects poorly on the company managing it but can also pose a health risk to those who swim in it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
“Preventing recreational water illnesses (RWIs) is a multifaceted issue that requires participation from pool staff, swimmers, and health departments. Poor maintenance can result in low disinfectant levels that can allow the spread of a variety of germs that cause diarrhea as well as skin and respiratory RWIs. Although pool staff alone cannot completely stop these complex problems, they play a key role in assuring the health of pool visitors.”
Just like community landscaping, pest control, and garbage maintenance and disposal, preventative upkeep can go a long way in reducing costs and health risks. As summer approaches, keep in mind that your pool should be monitored closely. Below are some tips to keeping your pool clean and clear:
It’s crucial to monitor pool water quality
Testing your pool’s PH level, chlorine, total alkalinity, and acid demand can very quickly be done with readily available pool testing kits. Testing should be conducted twice a week (or more depending on how frequently your pool is used) during the summer months and once per week in cooler months when the pool is still in use.
The pH level of the pool’s water should be kept between 7.2 and 7.8, aiming for an optimal 7.4. If your water is on the lower end of this scale’s pH level, it will require less chlorine. As the pH level rises in the water, it will cut down chlorine’s ability to work correctly. A good example would be that if you have a pH reading of 8.0, the chlorine will only be about 10 percent effective. If the pH level is high, the water will leave multiple slimy deposits on the pool walls and floor.
Regulated levels as recommended by the CDC; optimal pH (7.2-7.8); alkalinity (80-120 ppm); calcium hardness (200-400 ppm), and total dissolved solids (below 2500mg/liter). Keeping a high-quality pool shock product on hand can quickly help improve the water quality if it falls below the regulated levels. Keeping a supply of chemicals on hand will ensure no downtime is experienced and fun and safe swimming will be enjoyed. It is recommended that all pool cleaning materials be stored in a cool and dry place. Additionally, acid and chlorine should not be kept directly next to one another.
Maintenance of pool equipment prevents algae, bacteria growth, and debris buildup
Skimmer and skimmer basket
Located on the side of most pools is the skimmer and skimmer basket. This tool’s primary purpose is to clear the water surface before contaminants and debris are saturated enough to sink to the bottom of the pool. The easiest way to keep the skimmer clean and working at maximum strength is to open up the skimmer panel, remove the basket, and dump out collected material.
Pool pump hair and lint trapper
Particles the skimmer has missed typically end up in the hair and lint trap of your pool pump. Turning off the pump, releasing the pressure every week, and emptying the trap will help the pump continue to collect unwanted organic material.
Keep a regular watch on your water levels.
The pool’s water level should be right at the center of the skimmer for the best skimmer performance. If there is too little water, it can be difficult for the pump to run, and there is a possibility it could go dry. If there is too much water, the skimmer will not work well, and debris will be left in the pool.
Clean out your pool filter regularly
Cleaning your pool filter should correspond with how frequently your pool is used. If the drain at the bottom appears clogged or obstructed, if the hose cleaner is slow, or if there is a noticeable unpleasant odor in the pool, it is time to clean your filter.
A clean pool will benefit everyone!
A clean and well-maintained public swimming pool bolsters community morale, keeps swimmers healthy and safe, and ensures fun in the sun can be enjoyed by everyone.