Covid-19 has been affecting our lives in every possible area. Shortages, closures, lack of supply–you name it! This change of life did not pass over the swimming pool industry. A lot of our commercial pools and spas were shut down. Now that things are getting more “normal” a lot of commercial pools are being given the green light to reopen. What steps do we take to reopen a closed swimming pool?
Step 1 to Re-opening a Public Pool - Fill the Pool
If your pool was drained during the closure, you’ll need to refill it. While it is empty, decide if an acid or chlorine wash might be beneficial. Thinking of upgrading to LED lights? Now is a perfect time!
Step 2 to Re-opening a Public Pool -Balance the Water
Hopefully, if your pool was not drained, you kept up with your weekly maintenance while the swimming pool was closed. If you didn’t, you may need to do an algae treatment or even a drain. Yikes. If you weren’t testing and keeping accurate records you probably don’t have the Pool Shark H20 App. It sends water test results AND dosing instructions right to your device.
In any event, you’ll want to check the water and log it. Are you still using old-fashioned paper logbooks? The newest technology is available by Pool Shark H20 that not only gives you the water’s readings and dosing instructions but will keep a digital log, thus keeping you compliant.
Turn on the pool equipment. Listen for any strange noises and look for any leaks. I would start with a clean filter so add that to your to-do list. Then, run the water through your spin lab and view the results on your Pool Shark H20 APP. Do what it says so that the water is healthy and inviting to your guests.
Step 3 to Re-opening a Public Pool - Signage
Many counties are requiring signage above and beyond our regular safety signs. There are several “Covid” type signs that you will need to buy to ensure the Covid protection guidelines are met. Some of these guidelines are things like “Only one household in a spa at one time” or “must wear a mask when not actively swimming”. Things of that nature. Contact your county health department to determine what your requirements are as they are changing rapidly. Otherwise, your newly opened pool may get shut down again.
Step 4 to Re-opening a Public Pool - Retraining Your Staff
It may have been a year or more that your commercial body of water has been shut down. Not doing something that long can tend to make people a little rusty on tasks they used to do. Things like water chemistry, accidental fecal release procedures are super important. Luckily, very little training is needed in utilizing the Pool Shark H20 app. It is easy to use from a systematic standpoint and causes ease because the results and directions are so clear. This will save you loads of time in retraining your staff on balancing the water chemistry of the pool.
Step 5 to Re-opening a Public Pool - Health Inspections
Just because we have been given permission to reopen our pool does not mean we are allowed to. What I mean by that is we need to make sure we are compliant with the normal health department guidelines for a commercial pool. This includes checking for loose handrails. You’ll want to check the battery on your ADA lift. You’ll want your emergency and diarrhea and gate closure signs in place. You’ll need to make sure your safety equipment is still in good condition. If it is rotten, replace it. And of course, the water needs to be within all the proper ranges to remain open. Pool Shark H20 to the rescue yet again. There is no easier way to keep up on your water’s chemistry AND log it.
Step 6 to Re-opening a Public Pool -Cleaning
Make sure the area around the swimming pool and/or spa is clean. You may want to pressure wash the concrete. You’ll want to clean off all the seating. If upholstered you may want to have them professionally cleaned. Dust off the cobwebs from the equipment room. Make sure all weir gates and baskets are in good working order. And obviously, make sure the swimming pool itself is free from debris.
Step 7 to Re-opening a Public Pool - Fence and Gate
Make sure the safety fence and gate are in good order and haven’t been cut or vandalized. Make sure the gate is locked from the outside and shuts automatically.
If your swimming pool was closed due to Covid and is now reopening, welcome back! We missed you. Hopefully, things will continue to normalize. See you poolside!