WATER ATTRACTION FACILITIES
- General Information
A site specific operations and maintenance schedule should be developed
to include equipment operations instructions and maintenance schedules.
Be sure to include a fecal accident, first aid emergency, chemical
emergency, fire emergency as part of that plan.
For all types of pools, there is a need for close continuous inspection
of equipment and water quality. It is recommended that who ever
is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the swimming
pool attend a “ Certified Pool Operator” or an”
Aquatic Facility Operator” course to receive the proper training
and certification in this area. Many state boards of health departments
now require such training or certification for a public operation.
Under general maintenance, all pools should be inspected yearly
for cracks, or tears in the lining of vinyl pools. Some unlined
concrete pools need periodic painting. Pool paint, resistant to
alkaline, should be used.
The three major areas of maintenance are control of bacteria,
oxidation of organic material, and acidity (control of the pH).
These are aided by daily physical maintenance. The pool surfaces,
sides and bottoms, should be cleaned daily. Skimmers and the filter,
found just on the entry side of the pump, should be cleaned and
washed every day per manufacturers instructions.
In today's operation of a swimming pool for public use it is recommend,
if not mandated by many board of health departments that chemical
levels of the pool water are monitored and feed by chemical feed
pumps controlled by an automatic controller. Also records must be
kept of hourly or two hour intervals of those chemical levels. Refer
to state board of health regulations.
Manual test of the pool water will assure that the automatic
controller is operating properly, and is feeding the proper amounts
of chemicals to maintain the level required by the state boards
of health. Chlorine is depleted as it attacks bacteria, oxidizes
organic material, and it also is dissipated by sunlight. During
peak loads, if your system is designed properly, your chemical
levels will keep up with the demands caused by the increased bather
loads. ( see Exhibit ?) sample log sheet for chemical
It is imperative that the chlorine level of your pool water never
drops below .5 ppm. This will insure that proper bacteria and
virus kill takes place at all times. Chlorine levels can be maintained
at higher level preferable at 1.5 ppm to 5.0 ppm, as long as the
pH is maintained between, 7.2 & 7.6, without any swimmer discomfort
Cyanuric acid or stabilized chlorine (chlorine with cyanuric
acid as part of its compound) is not recommended. If it is, the
cyanuric acid must be monitored and not allowed to go above 20
ppm to 3o ppm. If this happens it renders your chlorine as a sanitizer
ineffective. Liquid chlorine as a sanitizer and muriatic acid
as a pH buffer is strongly recommended.
Controlling the acidity, or pH, is the other important maintenance
task. Ideally, the pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6, with your
chlorine (as an oxidizer) being more efficient at a pH of 7.4
The chief mechanical elements of the pool are the heater and filter
The heater requires little day to day maintenance. It should
be carefully inspected and adjusted before the start of each season.
The filter requires daily maintenance. Briefly, the system works
this way. Water is drawn from the skimmers and the bottom outlet
to the pump. Grass and large debris are caught in the skimmers
and should be emptied as needed. Hair, lint, and small objects
will be caught in the filter just in front of the water pump.
This is to be cleaned with each backwash. The water is pumped
into the filter through either high rate sand or diatomaceous
earth. As the buildup of debris occurs, the pressure needed to
drive the water through the filter material increases. When the
pressure reaches 7 to 8 lbs. over the normal operating pressure,
or reaches the specifications set by the manufacturer, the filter
must be cleaned. In diatomaceous earth type filters, the filter
medium is replaced. The grids must be flushed cleaned and the
diatomaceous earth must be slurry fed back over the grids so filtration
can begin again. In many states the disposal diatomaceous earth
filter media is treated as hazardous material and has restrictive
disposal requirements. In high-rate sand filters it is backwashed.
The flow is reversed with pool water going into the bottom of
the filter and out the top and emptied into your sanitary sewer,
as the backwash water is considered sanitary waste. Backwashing
continues until the water clears. Be sure to know your local codes
regarding the disposal of your waster material rather backwash
water or diatomaceous earth filter media and wastewater used to
flush the media from the grids.
A well maintained pool has crystal clear water all the time, but
specific problems and the possible trouble may be: (Check with your
chemical sales representative as he will be your best resource person.
However, keep in mind it is his job to sell chemicals so beware
of a multitude of specialty products, as they are usually over priced
and the basics in pool water chemistry will accomplish the desired
Cloudy - Not enough chlorine or filter needs cleaning. Total
alkalinity may have fallen out of range. Filtration could be
undersized for the bather loads placed upon it.
Irritating - Water too acidic. Add alkali. Or the build up of
chloramines ( determined by comparing your free chlorine levels
to your combined chlorine level and when there is separation
between the two, it is time to super-chlorinate); super-chlorinate
to break point chlorination
Pool turns green - Algae has formed. This can be due to a lack
of chlorine or excessive aeration. Also high levels of manganese
may cause water to have green cast. Increase free chlorine to
dissipate manganese out of water so it can be filtered out of
Other maintenance areas are lakes, beaches and marinas. Major
maintenance should be scheduled in the spring before the season
opens and again in the fall to prepare for winter. This includes
putting out and taking in boats, paddleboats, floats, swimming
limit lines, etc. It also covers repairs to docks and buildings,
and equipment for rent.
Daily maintenance includes cleaning the area, checking the condition
of rental equipment, and generally trying to make the area look