What is the Price You Will Pay?

September Client Email: What is the price you will pay?

We all know the old adage “Too many cooks spoil the broth/stew/soup.” Well, what happens when you have too many people in the pool? There is a new online platform connecting residential pool owners with people who are interested in renting their pools by the hour. The Pool “VRBO” is meant to give affordable access to swimming pools to those who may not have it. It also generates some income for pool owners to offset the expense of owning a pool but there are many concerns here that need to be considered.


A CDC study found that 51 percent of Americans use a swimming pool as a bath or a shower. Additionally, a recent Survey Monkey survey of 3,100 Americans found that 40 percent of adults have peed in the pool. When you don’t shower before entering the pool, you bring in everything on the human body including sweat, perspiration, cosmetics, sunscreens, urine, and even fecal matter. It has been found that even clean humans can carry as much as 0.2 ppm of fecal matter on them at any given time. All of this eats up your sanitizer, can contribute to combined chlorine forming, and also lead to the development of recreational water illnesses. So, do you really want all those strangers in your pool?

Rules are made to be broken

Since it is your pool, you make the rules. But who is there to enforce these rules to your renters? You want to make sure anyone who uses your pool is safe.  That is why you make these rules. This includes things like no running, no jumping, no horseplay, no alcohol, no food, and too many more to name. But, this laundry list of rules to a person looking to use a pool recreationally surely sounds like NO FUN. What are the odds that they will follow those rules? I don’t like those odds.

How Much Will You Really Make

When you open your pool up to more bathers, you open your pool up to more upkeep. This means it will need to be cleaned more often. It will also increase your chemical consumption. And, surely your pool guests will want to have nice toasty heated water if you have a heater. Also, more people using your pool and its associated equipment also equates with more usage will require more frequent upgrades and repairs. These all cost money to you, the pool owner.

Uh Oh, Now What?

And what happens when someone gets hurt? Pools have water, chemicals, electricity, and people all mixed into one. This combination increases risk. And, increased risks equal accidents. You will need to ensure you are maintaining the proper insurance to accommodate all this risk.

When a Private Pool Becomes Public

It is your responsibility as the pool owner that you have all necessary permits and comply with all associated law, rules, and regulations. Now here poses the question, once you rent the pool to an outsider, does it now deem it a commercial pool? Some towns are outlawing the practice of these type of pool rentals altogether. If your town doesn’t and your state now considers this a commercial pool, you now would need to comply with state recreational bathing codes. The code has very specific rules on operation and maintenance in the areas of design, circulation, safety, and lifeguards. Additionally, you may now also need to comply with federal pool regulations including the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act regarding entrapment and the 2010 ADA standards regarding handicapped access.

When In Doubt

No doubt, pools are expensive. But, there are others way to offset those expenses then opening yourself up to this can of worms that private pool rentals can bring. So when in doubt, throw it out.

*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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