Neighborhood Pool?

With all the travel bans and advisories in place this year, people are forgoing the good ole family summer vacation in favor of the “Staycation”. Those lucky enough to have a pool in the backyard just have to go outside their back door to enjoy a little summertime fun. You may have opened up your backyard this year to your extended family, friends and neighbors. This has you with a pool full of people all the time. And all those people do have an effect on your pool.
   Now, we know you are hoping that your neighbor is going to treat your pool with the same care and respect that you do, but that may not be the case. You need to ensure that your bathers are doing some basic pool 101 so that your clean pool does not turn into a cess pool. Make sure you ask neighbors to shower before using your pool. You can provide a fresh water hose/station for bathers to rinse off before and after exiting the pool.  You may consider a foot bath as well. You should encourage children to use the bathroom before “using” the pool. Inform bathers that they are not permitted to eat or drink in the pool. You want to try and limit the amount of bather waste and environmental debris that bathers may bring into your pool.
   You also don’t want people getting hurt at your pool, so you need to make sure your guests are aware and are following the rules. It is your pool so your rules, the general pool rules most pools enforce are:
• Keep the area around pool and pool equipment clean and safe
• Alcohol consumption at pool, spa, and aquatic facilities do not mix and should not be permitted. Never allow anyone to swim, dive, slide, or use the body of water while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
• Encourage everyone to learn how to swim.
• Never allow jumping, diving, or sliding into shallow water.
• Responsible adult supervision is required when the pool is in use, and always, when children are present.
• Encourage the buddy system for everyone, and never swim alone.
• Keep all electrical appliances away from the swimming pool.
• Do not permit running or horseplay.
• Keep deck clean and clear of hazards.
• No glass at the pool.
• Any person showing evidence of any communicable skin disease, sore or inflamed eyes, cold, nasal or ear discharges, or any other communicable disease; excessive sunburn, open blisters, cuts, or bandages shall not be permitted to use the pool.
• Do not enter the water if you are experiencing or recovering from diarrhea or have had any signs or symptoms of a gastrointestinal (stomach) disease in the past seven days.
• Children should be encouraged to use the restroom before entering the water.
• All persons shall shower before entering the water.
While you have people in the pool, someone does need to watch the water. You might consider talking to the neighborhood parents and designating water watchers on a scheduled or rotating basis. You want to ensure that you have asked all bathers that they know how to swim. You want to introduce your pool and pool area to your guests so they are aware of water depths, slope breaks, and entry and exit points. If you are going to permit non-swimmers into your pool, you want to ensure that they have responsible adult supervision within arm’s reach while they are in the pool. Also, you want those who cannot swim to use US Coast Guard approved floatation devices.
Having neighbors and guests over to enjoy your pool can be fun, but still needs to be safe. In addition to the above, you need to ensure you are following recommended CDC guidelines for social distancing, proper disinfecting, effective hand washing, and safe sanitizing during this time. As a neighborhood, you are a part of community that only wants the best for your family and the families you call your neighbors. So, make it a safe and fun summer together!

*This information is obtained from the Certified Pool and Spa Operator Handbook. This information may not be applicable to your pool based on your pool type and location. One should reference all applicable regulations and standards for your facility.

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