Public Pool Maintenance Checklist

Published on Jun 13, 2022

Julie Johnson

Public Pool Maintenance

We have a ton of stuff to do to maintain the properties we operate. One of these is our bodies of water. These could include swimming pools, hot tubs, splash pads, or even water slides.  Whether the water maintenance is your only responsibility or one of many, we want to make sure it is clear, clean, and most importantly, safe. This is not only to keep clients and our bosses happy, but to avoid any preventable closures from your local health department. Such closures cost us money and certainly displease bosses and clients. Here's what to be on the lookout for.

Essential Elements of a Public Pool Maintenance Checklist

Life-Saving Equipment

We don’t want anyone to get hurt for obvious reasons. We also don’t want anyone to get hurt and become a liability. To avoid such accidents, we need to make sure certain things are in place and “up to code”.  

Safety equipment covers a broad scheme of things. Let’s talk first about life-saving devices.  

This includes having a Coast Guard Approved buoy with enough safety throw rope to reach across the pool. Those throw ropes can get brittle and can have a tendency to break if not replaced periodically. We also want to make sure we have a life hook, also known as a Shepherd's Hook, to be able to fish someone out in the event of a  potential drowning. Even though they attach, these hooks are NOT to be used with your telescopic pole that you use with your cleaning attachments. You need a single-piece pole that will not break under the pressure of a human body.  

First Aid Kits

When was the last time you even looked in your first aid kit? You need to make sure it is stocked with un-expired ointments and medications and contains enough bandages. Most contain a breakable ice pack and other necessities to aid someone in the event of an injury.

Handrails, Steps, and Ladders

Always make sure your handrails, steps, and ladders are installed tightly. Give them a wiggle as you make your rounds. If any steps or rungs are missing, it needs to be replaced. People need a safe ingress and egress to the body of water.


This is a super important category. And a simple one. But I cannot tell you how many commercial pools call me saying they were shut down due to improper or missing signage. You must have a sign that has emergency numbers such as 9-1-1, the nearest hospital, and sometimes the manager’s info. You also need a First Aid sign that explains techniques, such as CPR, in words and diagrams that the average person could perform these life-saving tasks. A sign saying to keep the gate closed is required. You may need a “No Diving” or “No Lifeguard on Duty” depending on your specific body of water. A diarrhea sign is needed to prevent the spread of water-borne bacteria such as cryptosporidium, which can be caused by an AFR (Accidental Fecal Release) of the loose type. Not sure how to respond to an AFR? Don’t worry. Your Pool Shark H2O App has that feature and can walk you through what steps to take.

Dive markers are also important because they let the bather know how deep or shallow the water is. Make sure these are not faded or torn.

Emergency Phone

If required in your region, make sure you have a working emergency phone and that it is clearly labeled and visible.

Structural Damage

We want to make sure we don’t have any broken tiles, chipped or damaged plaster, or missing or damaged mastic. Believe it or not, these show up on an inspector’s report. If the entire pool is dilapidated, you may want to resurface it prior to Season.

Water Chemistry

A very important aspect of maintaining a safe venue. Check your water and have the results sent right to your device with the Pool Shark H2O App. Make sure your staff is trained on how to use it, read the results, and apply the necessary chemical adjustments. Luckily, the Pool Shark H2O App is so user-friendly, that anyone can use it with confidence. This means less time training your staff which is a time and money saver.

We need to make sure our chemicals are balanced. This includes the proper amount of sanitizer, balanced pH and alkalinity and so on. Make sure you have enough chemicals on hand to make needed daily adjustments. Make sure you have enough chlorine to handle an AFR of the loose variety. Don’t forget, “if it’s runny, chlorine is at 20ppm”.

Water chemistry is also the number one killer of swimming pool equipment. I have one customer who goes through a heater every 2 years because he only checks his pH and not his alkalinity. His water stays so corrosive, that the exchangers are toast in a short period. We will call this person “Joe”. I have told Joe many times. Joe doesn’t listen. Don’t be like “Joe”. With the advanced technology of Pool Shark H20, it is not unrealistic to expect perfectly balanced water at any given time after you test and make the needed adjustments.

If you are not using a spin lab and manually entering your results into Pool Shark H2O, make sure your testing reagents are not expired.  Have a backup bottle for the most used ones.  

Certification and Permits

Make sure you and your team’s state-required certifications are valid. Time can get away from us and our certs may be dirt because they expired. Heck, I just had to renew my CPO. I could not believe it had been 5 years!  I scored a 94% using http://cpoclass.com/cpo-certification-classes/ with Rudy Stankowitz.   Even if you are not required to become a certified pool and spa operator, I highly recommend it because it will help you better serve your clients.

Make sure any licenses are not expired such as permits and operating licenses. These renewals usually come in the mail but can get lost in some way or another. Especially on a messy desk like mine.


Make sure all of your equipment is fully operational. If it leaks, squeaks or creaks, it is time to have someone look at it. If your pump is not running properly, your water is not getting filtered.  This could lead to murky water in which you cannot see the main drain. This is a drowning hazard and will get you shut down for sure. Speaking of main drains, make sure yours are VGB compliant. Did you know all VGB drains need to be replaced every 5 years? The Pool Shark H2O App has a feature that will notify you when it is time. The Pool Shark H2O APP will save you time, and money and help prevent violations. What more could you ask for out of a product that is simple to use, yet offers so much. It can become the most important piece of equipment you have lickety-split!  Pool Shark H2O to the rescue, again!

Digital Pool Tester Guide

The benefits of implementing Pool Shark include:

  • Substantial ROI
  • Better Water Conditions
  • Improved Guest & Customer Satisfaction
  • Plug and Play Ease of Use
  • Stronger Risk Management & Reduced Liability
  • Guides and Practices
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