Splashing Through The Snow

Pool covers are a sure sign of summer's end.

Check with local health officials to make sure this option is acceptable in your state, and meets the state turnover rate.

Equipment Exam

The colder months are also a great time to inspect the facility to ensure everything is in working order. Safety equipment, including all of the components, should be examined.

These include:

• Solid pole with shepherd hooks–Is the shepherd hook securely bolted to the pole?

• Rope and floats–Is the rope intact? Are all floats present?

• Ring buoys and throw ropes–Is there still enough rope attached to the existing ring buoy?

• Signage–Are the signs legible and up-to-date?

• First-aid kits–Are they fully stocked?

• Backboard, head immobilizer, and straps–Are all the straps still present? Are there any cracks in the backboard?

• Pool rules and regulations–Are there any updates or omissions that should be made to the existing policies based on the occurrences from the past season?

ADA Compliance

This is also a great time to make sure the facility complies with all federal, state, and local laws. Changes to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design will have an impact on the way parks and recreation departments operate pools and spas.

For instance, section 242 mandates that pools with more than 300 linear feet have at least two accessible means of entry; those with fewer than 300 linear feet must have at least one accessible means of entry that includes either a pool lift or sloped entry that complies with the standards.

Meanwhile, wading pools are required to have at least one accessible means of entry that complies with sloped-entries standards.

For spas, at least one accessible means of entry must be provided that complies with pool lifts, transfer walls, or transfer-systems standards. This law goes fully into effect in March 2012. Reviewing the guidelines prior to making any changes to a facility is highly recommended because there are also many exemptions.

The colder months present a wealth of advantages to prepare pools and spas for the coming season. Taking the time now ensures a safe and fun season.

Trevor Sherwood, Pool Operation Management owner, provides consulting, training, inspections, and expert witness services for pools, training 2,000 CPO’s annually. He assisted in rewriting the Massachusetts State Bathing Code in 1998, and made recommendations for the New Jersey State Bathing Code revisions in 1999 and 2010. This year, he became lead instructor for a grant issued by CSPC to the Northeast Spa & Pool Association to train health officials on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

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