Commercial Swimming Pool Maintenance: Meeting Safety, Health & Code Requirements

Pool Closed. Those are two words no guest wants to see posted outside of a desirable pool and spa space. Whether they’re vacationing at your resort, spending an afternoon at the private club you manage, or planning to take a dip at the condo association pool, a sign indicating that something is wrong is frustrating. (And, it doesn’t do a whole lot for your reputation, either.)

But “pool closed” is exactly what will happen if the mechanicals, structure, and water inside are not properly maintained to meet stringent Florida state and international regulations.

If chlorine and pH levels are off-balance, forget it. Pool closed. (Who wants to risk a sanitary health risk?) If signage and depth markers are not up to standard or non-existent, swimmers could have a serious accident on your property. Again, pool closed. That is unless you want to invite a lawsuit.

From proper main drain covers to appropriate depth markers and highly technical chemical measurements, there’s so much to account for when maintaining commercial swimming pools and spas in South Florida. And here, we swim year-round. So, commercial pool maintenance is a requirement for up to five days per week.

The reality is that facility managers are focused on guest experience and cannot truly dedicate the necessary time to stay on top of the evolving regulations and standards for constructing and maintaining a pool. It is nothing like caring for residential swimming pools.

There’s a risk involved when the property’s pool manager is not properly certified or trained on the latest pool equipment. Swimmers could get very sick from your pool if the chemistry is off. Some common recreational water illnesses include Cryptosporidium (Crypto for short), Giardia, Shigella, Norovirus, and E. coli. If your pool is responsible, that could mean a costly lawsuit.

Now, you might be wondering what’s involved in maintaining a commercial swimming pool and whether your pool manager truly has it covered. Let’s dive in and touch on some key issues an experienced CPO-certified pool operator will manage during a commercial pool maintenance visit.

Safe, Healthy Pools Start With Sound Construction

An experienced pool operator does more than just maintain the pool. The provider should also identify the root of maintenance problems and determine whether there are pool construction issues that need attention. For example, perhaps safety features such as handrails are not properly installed or anchored. We want to fix those problems that violate the code so your commercial pool will meet Florida and international pool and spa standards.

What we’re saying is, commercial pool construction and maintenance go hand in hand. A poorly built pool will present maintenance challenges. When those challenges crop up, you want a pool provider with certified mechanics on board who have the knowledge to fix proprietary commercial pool equipment.

Aside from adhering to Florida Department of Health and Human Services regulations, a quality pool provider will ensure that control systems are in place so that when water chemistry or filtration is off benchmark, maintenance professionals are alerted so they can respond immediately. Your responsibility to those who swim in your pool is to provide a safe, healthy environment. That starts with quality construction and continues with proper pool maintenance.

Commercial Pool Maintenance Calls for Certification And Expertise

Maintaining a commercial swimming pool or spa is very different from managing a residential pool. For one, more people are using the pool, which increases the risk of health and safety issues. Also, standards for commercial pools are different, including chlorine level limits and code requirements.

Also, commercial pools require constant management to make sure filters are working properly, water levels are appropriate, and the chemical balance is just right. In fact, a pool manager should be monitoring these factors daily. When that doesn’t happen, you risk swimmer health and safety—and you could face serious lawsuits.

Because commercial pool maintenance is time-sensitive and so specific, it’s critical to hire an experienced pool provider with CPO and Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) professionals on staff.

Perhaps your property has a full-time pool manager. The question is, does this employee have the knowledge and mechanical expertise? Is your on-site pool manager CPO or AFO certified? If not, you’re gambling and the odds are, you’ll eventually have a real maintenance problem. Just because the pool looks clear and blue three days out of the week does not mean the water is healthy and the system is high-functioning.

We understand that facility managers are more focused on the budget. So rather than hiring a professional pool provider, they turn over pool maintenance tasks to an on-site maintenance employee. But there’s a much greater cost to not meeting chemical requirements, overlooking a faulty filter, and not identifying improper circulation and flow rate. Plus, can your pool manager diagnose and manage mechanical repairs?

A quality pool provider has intimate knowledge of your specific pool environment. You should have the pool maintenance professional's cell phone number, and he or she should be visible on the property nearly every day. You will get the same communication and better outcomes from hiring professional vs. taking chances that an on-staff maintenance worker can do the job.

Commercial Pools Are Delicate Ecosystems That Require Constant Oversight

Managing the pH level in a commercial swimming pool is a highly scientific job. For example, if pool water pH levels are too high, then chlorine will not be effective.

Filter clogs are also a problem, which is why daily maintenance is so important. Commercial pools are shared by lots of swimmers, so there are sanitary risks when pool equipment fails. Also, because of a greater bather load in commercial pools, filters naturally work harder. For these reasons, ensuring that filters are effective and that chemical levels are up to par is absolutely critical in a commercial swimming pool and spa environment.

Commercial swimming pools are essentially complex ecosystems that require careful oversight to ensure that all of the systems are in proper working order. That way, facility managers can assure that swimmers are safe while using their pool.

Partner With A Certified, Commercial Pool & Spa Professional

If you want to avoid hanging that “pool closed” sign because of filter or chemical issues—or worse, serious violations of safety codes—then we recommend consulting with a pool and spa professional that is trained on Florida and international standards and requirements. Maintaining a commercial pool is nothing like taking care of a home pool. The time, investment, and risk involved are such that wise facility managers outsource pool maintenance so they can prevent health and safety breaches.

At Reef Tropical, our CPO-certified pool operators are trained to adhere to the highest pool and spa standards and can diagnose issues that could inhibit effective pool maintenance. We can train on-site pool managers to properly maintain your commercial pool and serve as the “managing partner” handling repairs and emergencies. What’s most important to us is that your pool is safe and healthy for swimmers.

Let’s talk more about what’s involved in commercial pool and spa maintenance, and what to look for in a pool provider. After all, your swimming pool is where guests spend most of their time! It is worth the investment. Contact us anytime at (305) 901-1505, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.