Examining Outdoor Pools

Lending a helping hand so pool users can get in and out of the pool safely also should be examined. The surface of steps and ramps must be of an aggregate material.

Whenever possible, offer two handrails to provide more support for people with disabilities.

“Railings should be secured with bronze anchors because other metals can cause the metal of the anchor and the stainless-steel railing to fuse together,” says Keith Monk, national sales director with Inter-Fab, a manufacturer of safety railing.

“The person checking the chemicals in the pool should also check for broken anchors and concrete.”

Pool inspections are important.

Steps on ladders also must be inspected regularly to make sure they are not likely to break when somebody puts weight on the step.

Keep in mind that people must be able to get on a ladder to use it.

“When a person floats up to a ladder to get out of the pool, they need to be fairly agile to get their foot up on the step,” says Monk. “If the ladder extends a few more feet, it makes it easier for a person who doesn’t have a lot of mobility to get their foot on the bottom rung.”

Stainless steel is a common choice for railings, but can tarnish. Powder-coating is available in a variety of colors; light colors are recommended to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the railing–resulting in a cooler, safer surface to grip.

Marking It Up

“In pools where there is any water greater than 5 feet deep, it is important to have a line of demarcation, such as 4-inch-wide dark line that goes up the sidewall and across the bottom of the pool. At a glance, people can see how deep the pool is. This is especially important for non-swimmers,” says White.

“A safety rope is a good idea as well. A physical separation of the shallow water from the deep water serves as another way to alert swimmers to the change in water depth.”

Covering The Off-Season

When the season is over, keep the pool covered–this limits the potential for someone to take a swim, and decreases the amount of debris that tumbles in during the off-season. Mesh pool-covers allow the rainwater and snowmelt to pass through while also reducing the amount of sunlight, depending on how tight the mesh is woven.

“Organic materials in the pool break down and can stain the pool,” says Mike Preuit, product manager, CoverLogix, a manufacturer of safety-covers for in-ground pools. “You’ll see increases in both algae growth and the breakdown of organic materials when more light is able to enter the water.”

Mesh pool-covers are made to fit the pool, and are secured in place by bronze anchors. Tarp-covers are not a safe alternative because if a person falls into the pool, the tarp will close around him or her, making it extremely difficult to escape. If tarps are used, replace them every 2 years.

If a pool-cover is used for a standard-shaped pool, it will typically pay for itself in 5 to 7 years; it may also lead to reduced insurance rates.

Pool Safety

Although keeping a pool safe might seem like a daunting task, it is one that must be attended to with commitment to quality and professionalism.

Tammy York is the owner of LandShark Communications LLC which specializes in media and public relations for outdoor recreation businesses. Her book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati, is available online and in bookstores. You can reach her at tammy@landsharkcommunications.com.

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Related posts:

  1. Double-Duty Pools
  2. Developing Standards For Public Pools
  3. Fast Pools and LZR Suits
  4. Design Parameters For Public Swimming Pools
  5. Day-Camp Excursions

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