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Are you responsible for the overall maintenance of your swimming pool facility? As the operator/manager of a YMCA, JCC or other commercial facility, you have the need to handle the maintenance tasks required for the facility. These tasks include water testing, water balance, backwashing filters and calibrating chemical controllers, among others.

Some facilities have decided it is easier to outsource these tasks by hiring a pool service company to take care of maintenance responsibilities. If you have a small pool or hot tub, this may be an efficient option. These service companies also can provide you with expertise and knowledge that can be helpful when operating your pool. However, keep in mind that service companies cannot be on-site around the clock. It is essential that your staff be as knowledgeable about pool operating procedures as possible. If an accident occurs at your facility, you may be held responsible, whether or not your staff was on-site operating the facility.

In most states, the health department requires you to have a permit in order to operate a swimming pool. You need to ensure your pool, hot tub and facility meets all aspects of the health code at all times. If your pool is open to the public, you are required to meet all standards of facility operations for cleanliness, turnover, flow, water chemistry and water clarity, etc. Your on-site staff needs to be trained in all operating procedures, since having a service company does not take away the responsibility of the pool operator or owner.

A pool service can be a big help with some of the basic chores that are involved in operating a pool. A clean, healthy swimming pool facility is a positive reflection on your operations and the professionalism of our aquatics industry. With all of the press and social media outlets for communication today, it is important we stay ahead of these issues.

If you have a specific product that needs to be repaired or replaced the service providers can fix, replace or install it for you. Those providers know a lot about commercial pools and can offer some perspective on what other pool operators are doing to solve problems at facilities like yours. Dealers and distributors of commercial swimming pool supplies and chemicals are also a resource for new technologies and products to help you solve your facility needs.

Around the country, many health departments now require pool operators be certified in order to operate a commercial swimming pool. Many commercial pool companies and organizations offer nationally-recognized pool operator training programs, such as the Certified Pool and Spa Operators Training Class (CPO) offered by the Pool & Hot Tub Association (PHTA) and the Aquatic Facility Operator Training Class (AFO) offered by the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA).

Commercial swimming pool facilities are very unique and only qualified people should manage and maintain them.

 

Charlie Luecker is the director of commercial sales for Lincoln Aquatics and can be reached via email at cluecker@lincolnaquatics.com, by phone at 800.223.5450 or visit lincolnaquatics.com.

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