Aquatic Safety Review, Part 2

• Re-circulating pump should be checked for excessive temperature or failing operation that might be indicated by increased noise, decrease in flow output, leaks, etc. If there is any indication that the pump is failing, it should be immediately taken offline and inspected by a professional. To facilitate this action, the recirculation system should have a second pump either available or ideally already plumbed in the system to manage the switch. If two pumps are plumbed in parallel, for alternate use, then proper operation might consider maintaining a regular schedule for alternating the pumps so that each is used the same amount in a given period of time. Proper operational records will facilitate this process.

• Make sure that all valves are operating correctly and that they are tagged in a manner that will facilitate the filter backwashing process (see below).

• Make sure that there is a complete diagram and step-by-step process available for staff to refer to and follow throughout the backwashing process. Again, tagging valves, gauges, etc., will assist the staff in this process. A filter backwashing video where the entire process is demonstrated correctly is an excellent tool for staff training. And, all staff responsible for filter backwashing should be assessed in their ability to perform this process correctly.

• Flow gauges are generally installed pre- and post-filtration to aid in accessing when filters need to be backwashed. These should be checked to ensure that the filters are backwashed as needed. Failure to backwash filters when needed, in a timely fashion, may both decrease the water quality and increase the pressure on the re-circulating pump. There are several types of re-circulation systems available for installation. The overall water quality will be impacted by whether or not the recirculation system (including the filters and pumps, etc.) are adequate and provide the required turn-over rate for the total number of gallons of water in the pool. A competent pool professional will be able to ensure that the system is designed appropriately for the facility.

• The make-up or overflow tank (if part of the system) should be carefully checked to ensure that enough water is in the system to adequately keep the pool level at the height of the gutters (when the pool is not in use). When pool water levels get too low, the gutters and skimmer will not assist the removal of floating debris as intended, and the water re-circulating through the pump, filters, etc., may not be adequate for proper operation.

• The pool water level should be maintained as prescribed by the pool design, to ensure that when the depth of the pool is marked three, four, or 10 feet, etc., the pool is actually three, four, or 10 feet respectively. The depth of the pool is a critical safety issue

• The pool recirculation system must include some means of water disinfection. Whether automated or not, this equipment must be operating effectively to maintain the proper disinfectant levels in the pool water (as determined by regular testing). In outdoor pools testing will need to be more frequent when in use, and disinfectant should be easily added when needed to respond to low readings. Automated systems can reduce or eliminate low disinfectant readings if they are operating correctly. The staff will also need to check to see that there are adequate supplies of disinfecting chemicals available for normal operation. Because pool water disinfecting chemicals are often generally hazardous chemicals, proper management of these chemicals demands staff awareness of the hazards, proper training and supervision. The OSHAct requires that all chemicals must have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) made available for staff to review, to ensure the safe handling and exposure to these substances.

• Finally, all pipes throughout the entire re-circulating system should be checked for leaks to ensure that the system does not fail because of a water loss.

7. Lighting (surface and underwater): Electricity and water are not a good mix, but are necessary for any aquatic facility. There are two primary considerations regarding lighting and aquatic facilities: provide adequate lighting and ensure that all lighting is safe.

• All surface lighting is regularly checked to ensure against possible contact with the pool or users.

• Surface lighting should be maintained at a maximum level as much as possible. At no time should a facility be opened if the surface lighting does not meet minimal standards established by local/state code.

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Related posts:

  1. Aquatic Safety Review, Part 1
  2. Aquatic Safety Review, Part 3
  3. Safety and Risk Management Checklist
  4. Camp Aquatic Safety
  5. Maintaining Safety
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