With pool season in full swing, the last thing aquatic facility operators need is to lose momentum with a pool shutdown after a visit from their local health inspector.
While these shutdowns typically only last a few hours, they can be damaging to public perception and can be indicative of larger safety and health issues for swimmers.
The success or failure of your aquatic facility hinges on the health inspector’s verdict, so it’s crucial to make sure everything is up to par. Do you have everything accounted for?
Water Quality Counts
Accu-Tab® and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) conducted a survey on the protocols and experiences of local health departments in recreational water facility inspection. Unsurprisingly, the survey showed that nearly all reported shutdowns were due to poor water quality – specifically, low levels of sanitization chemicals such as chlorine. Ensuring that your pool water is between 7.2-7.8 is not only important in passing inspection, but crucial for the safety of your pool’s patrons. It’s important to test these levels on a regular basis, so there’s no surprises when it comes time for the inspection.
Another common chemistry mishap stems from the belief that all chemicals and chlorinators are interchangeable. Using the incorrect chemical in a feeder system can result in inconsistent chlorination, compromising the pool’s pH and making the water unusable.
A pool is only as good as the equipment used to maintain it, and health inspectors will expect that everything is in working order.
Any equipment that does not comply with the most recent NSF International standards may result in a shutdown. If you are unsure about a product’s certification status, you can perform a quick check by entering the product manufacturer and/or name on the NSF website.
According to the Accu-Tab-NACCHO study, 46 percent of operators never check to see if the chemical being used in the chlorination system is the same brand or chemical type specified by the manufacturer. If an inspector catches this, it will void the product’s NSF certification.
Educated Staff=Excellent Aquatics
Before the next visit from your health inspector, you should touch base with your staff and gauge how much they have retained about proper pool maintenance and protocol. Research shows that high turnover rates among pool operators is intrinsically tied to knowledge levels regarding pool water, equipment and inspection requirements.
For more information on Accu-Tab and NACCHO’s survey, visit Accu-Tab’s website to download the free PDF.