Summer is quickly approaching and for anyone with an outdoor pool, that means life is about to get busier than usual.
To mitigate the stress that can come with the season, I have a few suggestions and items to check so opening day goes smoothly for all involved.
• Check inventory. Do you have all the balance chemicals (i.e. sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, etc.) to get the pool up and running for opening day? If you have a chlorine generator, do you have enough salt on hand to bring the pool up to the proper salinity? Do you have enough testing reagents and are they fresh? What about specialty chemicals for removing phosphates, keeping the filters clean, and ensuring the water remains crystal clear?
• Check for winter damage. Is there any damage to the plumbing? How does the electrical wiring look? Are the heaters operational? What about the surface of the pool itself, does the lining or tile need to be cleaned?
• Has water been flowing through the pump room and your equipment? If so, thoroughly inspect equipment and clean if necessary. This includes filters, pumps and pump baskets, and chlorine equipment. If not, make sure you check for air bubbles as flow is restored to dry equipment. Bleed the filters and watch the pumps for cavitation.
• Check flow meters. Are they working?
• Clean the pH and ORP probes and flow cell filter.
• Have you hired any new staff that will be taking care of the pool? Now is the best time to get them the training they will need. There is still time before summer to enroll staff in a Certified Pool Operator™ course. Find one near you at www.nspf.org.
• How old are the probes? Know the lifespan of your sensors and consider replacing old ones.
• Are the Chemistry Controllers programmed for summer? Due to the sunnier weather, hotter temperatures, and masses of people flocking to your pool, chlorine demand is a real issue and Chemistry Controllers need to be programmed to suite.
• Clean or repaint. Take the time to clean the deck and deck equipment, such as chairs and benches. How do the locker rooms look?
• Restock the first aid kit and inventory the safety equipment.
• Inspect drain covers. Verify that all drain covers are VGBA and ADA compliant and in proper working order.
This list is just a sample of what may be required to prepare your pool for the summer season. An in-depth checklist can also be found in your CPO® handbook. Be sure to add to or adjust these lists to suit your specific situation.
Though summer brings on additional responsibilities, most of the stress can be reduced by preparing ahead of time. As Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”