Three things you can’t buy from an equipment company to keep your pool healthy
Pool equipment manufacturers invest a lot of money marketing products and most of them work. Too often people get caught up on searching for the next awesome technology to fix all their problems. I love technology, but I think some of the old school practices to keep your pool clear and clean work better than any special piece of equipment that you can buy from your favorite distributor.
The best tools we have are quite old. Of all the chemical systems and products on the market I have researched and studied I can honestly say that NONE of them are significantly better than the others in all situations and applications. It makes no difference what type of chemical delivery system you use, you will just be picking which issues, safety considerations and maintenance tasks you choose to deal with.
If you keep adequate disinfectant, pH in the acceptable range and maintain good flow rates through your pool, you will be well on your way to having clean and clear water. These next three items are areas that I see facilities overlook when seeking the perfect water.
3.) Fresh Water –While a conservation mindset is necessary in today’s world, many operators trade off health of their users by being stringy with water. From conversations with extremely smart and experienced operators and my own experience no amount of extra clarifying chemical is as effective as dumping a quantity of water and adding fresh water.
Dilution with fresh water reduces combined chlorines no matter how well your ventilation system works or what extra pieces of equipment you have like UV or ozone. Pools are expensive no matter how you cut it, all the high tech equipment and chemicals in the world can only go so far to keep water clear.
Remember the solution to pollution is dilution.
2.) Showers — If we can get people to just thoroughly clean themselves before they bathe in our pools, it will greatly reduce the chemical needs of our water. If all patrons took thorough, naked, soapy showers before entering the pool with clean swim wear, we would be in great shape.
Here in America we have major modesty issues. Older facilities were not designed to enhance modesty in the shower areas so people do either the 1–2 pint shower (Low flow shower heads for 10–20 seconds with their suits on) or don’t shower at all. We also have a cultural push to not tell people how to take care of themselves (unless it’s to eat like a caveman). These barriers make it impossible to force people to shower when we are supposed to put the customer first.
The only way to improve this is to educate pool users to the importance of showering and how it helps keep everyone healthier in the pool. We also have to work to improve privacy in our shower areas in older facilities.
1.) A trained operator who monitors their system- This is the most expensive part of operating a swimming pool that many agencies cut early on. People are flat out expensive to keep on staff. Too often the monitoring and maintenance of the pools sanitation and mechanical systems is farmed out to another department or company that is only on site when issues come up. It doesn’t matter how good of monitoring equipment you put on a system, nothing beats the intuition of an experienced operator who checks the systems often. A good operator knows how their pool(s) behave and uses a variety of tools to address issues. Through experience they know the mix of things that will keep their pool clean and clear for users.
I hope this article helps you keep things in perspective as you are inundated with ads and pushes from manufacturers to buy their piece of equipment.
I’d love your feedback on this so please leave a comment or get in touch with me on twitter (I’m @thejoeandrews) or checkout my website www.thejoeandrews.com