These are uncertain times we are in right now, and everyone is more aware of the spread of germs than maybe ever before.  This doesn’t stop in the pool area, where maintaining a healthy environment for your patrons should be a top priority.  While it may be impossible to keep your pool completely germ free, there are many ways you can ensure as hygienic an experience as possible.

The first step in keeping a clean, healthy pool area is a continuous regime of cleaning and disinfecting.  This should be done at least once a day, but realistically should be done throughout the day.  Hitting the frequently touched areas, such as chairs, handrails, slides, door handles, restrooms, and any recreational play area or item in the pool, can drastically decrease the opportunity for germs to spread.  You should also try to separate the clean from the dirty for things such as pool chairs so your guests can use the clean items while you are cleaning the dirty ones.  Lastly, discuss which disinfectants are best for your aquatic area with the company or engineer that designed it.

On top of cleaning and disinfecting the pool area as much as possible, you should also ensure that your ventilation system is running smoothly, as the introduction of clean, outside air and removal of the contaminated air can help greatly in the prevention of germs. Modifying your pool’s layout can also help to maintain a respectable distance between the swimmers in your pool.  And if a simple modified layout doesn’t do the trick, you may want to introduce some physical barriers such a lane lines for the people who just can’t take the hint.

In a similar vein of making sure people maintain a safe distance apart, communal space use should be staggered as much as possible and should be thoroughly cleaned after each use.  If you can limit the pool use to one group at a time and discourage people from sharing items that are difficult to disinfect, you’ll have much better odds of maintaining as healthy an environment as possible.

After you’ve done all you can to make sure the environment is a clean one, you can focus on the operations of your pool.  This starts with checking the temperature of patrons entering the premises and making sure that anyone with any symptoms stay home.  You should also have a few members of your staff whose sole purpose is to make sure everything is cleaned, disinfected, people are washing their hands, and that there is social distancing.  This should not be the responsibility of the lifeguard, as their task is already a very important one.  These workers should also work in rotated shifts to limit the amount of people coming in and out of the area.  If it’s possible, designating someone the official point of contact for any and all sickness issues is a great idea.

No matter the amount of work you put into maintaining a healthy environment and operations, someone can and will get sick, and it’s good to have a plan for when that happens.  The first step should be immediately isolating anyone who shows signs of being ill and getting them either home or to a doctor as quickly as possible.  After you have safely gotten the infected individual to a new location, you should make sure that anyone who was in close contact with them stay home and monitor their health for any symptoms.  This should coincide with you closing the pool area for a full clean, paying special attention to the areas that were used by the sick person.

It’s certainly a scary thing to happen, anyone getting sick in your pool area.  You immediately worry about every patron in there, hoping that it was just an isolated incident.  And while this is bound to happen, these few tips and suggestions should help it be a few and far between occasion.