What is a Pool Inspection Checklist?
A pool inspection checklist is a document that contains a list of requirements to ensure that a swimming pool or spa, regardless if it’s a residential or commercial one, is safe for the users’ health.
The requirements specified in a pool and spa inspection checklist may vary depending on the country’s regulations. However, there are still large similarities that can be found when comparing various checklists such as the ideal water quality and the proper filtration settings. As such, we will be using later the requirements made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gain insight into the important points for consideration during pool inspections. Aquatic facilities that fail to comply with these requirements can be penalized with costly fines.
Comprehensive pool inspections and aquatic facilities regulations have just been recently introduced, around three decades ago. This was only triggered because there has been a dramatic increase in waterborne disease outbreaks which were traced back to poor water quality from water recreation parks such as swimming pools and spas.
From further studies, health professionals have discovered that this outbreak is due to the proliferation of germs such as Giardia, Shigella, E.coli, norovirus, and Cryptosporidium (the leading cause of waterborne diseases in the United States).
These germs can be introduced into the pool by various vectors such as human feces and animals. Although they can be killed by chemicals (such as chlorine and bromine) that are applied to the water, several factors might cause these chemicals to be ineffective, like low concentration or a pool filtration system.
To prevent these factors that make pools unsafe, using a swimming pool inspection checklist is one of the most effective ways to do so. Not only will it prevent penalties, but also enable the pool and spa to maintain a good public reputation.
In this article, we will talk about:
What is the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC)?
The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) is a guide that was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is based on the latest science and best practices to help ensure healthy and safe experiences in aquatic facilities such as swimming pools, spas, and waterparks. This guide was initiated back in 2005 to reduce the large number of waterborne disease outbreaks that were happening in the United States.
From their further studies and discussion, the council that was in charge of creating the Model Aquatic Health Code came up with the conclusion that in order to achieve their goals, they must regulate three focus points:
- Design standards and construction
- Facility operation and maintenance
- And policies and management
We will talk more about these focus points below. Due to the large scope that this guide covers, we will focus our discussion on factors that affect water quality.
Due to how comprehensive this guide is, many institutions have created their own pool inspection checklist (residential or commercial) based on the Model Aquatic Health Code. So, learning more about the MAHC will give us insight into what a proper and final pool inspection checklist should have and what to expect when a government official arrives to inspect a swimming pool or spa.
Design Standards and Construction
This key focus point applies only to aquatic facilities that are just in the planning stage and are yet to be built.
- Particle Contamination Burden and Filtration System
During the inspection of a plan for an aquatic facility, one of the most important factors for consideration is that there should be an indicated particle contamination burden. Particle contamination burden is the expected rate at which contaminants like dust, debris, body excretions, and insects enter the pool.
This is very important because this contamination rate is where the filtration equipment capabilities are decided upon. If the rate of filtration is less than the contamination burden, then the pool will eventually become dirty with contaminants.
- Chlorine and Disinfectant Demand
Chlorine demand or disinfectant demand is the rate at which chlorine (or other disinfectants) is needed to be added to the pool, which is affected by various factors. The first one is the number of bathers or swimmers expected per day because, as we’ve previously mentioned, body excretions contaminate the water and need to be disinfected. The second one is the chlorine or disinfectant loss due to ultraviolet rays, decomposition, and oxidation.
Keep in mind that the rate of the chlorine feed pump must match the chlorine demand to keep the pool safe.
Facility Operation and Maintenance
This key focus point applies to aquatic facilities that are operating.
In the pool inspection checklist of an operational aquatic facility, permits must be included. Because permits need to be continuously updated to ensure that the facility operation is legal. If not, a facility risks being fined or being forced to close down.
- Preventive Maintenance Plan
According to collected data, approximately 22% of pool chemical-related events are due to equipment failure which can be prevented with proper maintenance; not with any maintenance, but preventive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance refers to the planned schedule of equipment maintenance intending to prevent equipment breakdown. Manufacturers usually give recommendations on what type of maintenance should be done and how frequent it should be. Doing so will prevent any unwanted repair costs and disruption of operation. Make sure that preventive maintenance is on the pool inspection checklist.
- Water Quality Testing
Water quality testing is the procedure of collecting water samples and then testing them to check parameters such as alkalinity, hardness, total dissolved solids, and chlorine levels. We do this to ensure that the water is balanced and safe. This is also a good measure for knowing whether the pool equipment is working correctly. It is important to make sure that water quality testing is in the pool inspection checklist pdf.
Policies and Management
This key focus point applies to aquatic facilities that are operating.
- Staff Training
Training the hired staff is an important part of the pool inspection checklist because it ensures that they know their duties and responsibilities, especially the workers who handle chemicals and equipment.
There have been incidents where a staff member has mishandled disinfectants which a caused irritation and discomfort to the affected swimmers. So making sure that they’ve received the proper training ensures that they’re less likely to cause any problems, as they’ll know how to effectively do their job.
- Contamination Response Plan
Having a contamination response plan in the pool inspection checklist ensures that the staff knows what to do in a scenario where a swimmer contaminates the swimming pool with their blood, vomit, or feces.
This is crucial because these body excretions, when handled improperly, can cause the proliferation of germs in the pool which can then cause sickness to other swimmers. It might even severely contaminate the pool filtration system which can lead to early equipment replacement and cause business disruption.
How a Software Can Make Your Pool Inspections More Efficient
With Lumiform’s audit app you can easily perform a multitude of safety and quality inspections on the go from your smartphone or tablet – online or offline. Use premade templates or create your own for the most accurate and customized experience.
- With our flexible and easy-to-use form builder, you can transform any pool inspection checklist into a digital format within minutes.
- Lumiform offers thousands of ready-made templates to choose from, so that you can make the switch from paper to digital in a safe and simple way.
- With the intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app, you and your team can conduct your inspections with ease, saving time and effort.
- All results are automatically summarised in a report which can be sent to responsible personnel(s) immediately.
- Comprehensive and automated analyses help you uncover threats and errors fast and effectively and thus allow you to concentrate on improving processes continuously.
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