Operate a seasonal pool? Summer planning starts now. Your first visit from your county health department may be just a few months away. No need to panic. Your health inspector is on your side. You share a common goal – a safer swim season for your members and guests. With that in mind, now is a great time to strengthen your relationship with the health department. Here’s how you can start.
Get on the Same Team – You and your health inspector are working towards common goals. Your relationship should reflect that. Make sure you connect with your health department early, find out who your inspector is and let them know you appreciate their efforts. Your health inspector is an integral part of your successful summer.
Ask the Expert – Sanitarians are well-trained professionals, and they’ve seen a lot of pools. They know the successes and failures of other aquatic operators working in your area. They know the challenges and intricacies associated with your specific pool code. Utilize that expertise. Their advice is invaluable and will help you reduce your own personal risk and liability poolside.
Check In Early – Now is a great time to check in with your health department officials. Make sure you know what documents, certifications, safety plans, water samples and/or fees they require in order to issue your seasonal permits. A quick call or email can ensure you’re on track to open on time this spring.
Do Your Homework – Don’t enter the season blind. Make sure you’re up to date on the latest codes and standards in your county. Not sure where to start? Your state code and aquatic standards from the CDC can be found here.
Start Your Spring Cleaning – Clean pump rooms, locker rooms, storage areas and pool decks are safer – both for your patrons, and for your team. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward during your initial inspection period by thoroughly cleaning these areas in advance. Schedule team members for spring cleaning work over the next few weeks. Be sure to properly dispose of any chemicals remaining from the previous season.
Gather Your Certs – If your health department checks on certifications for lifeguards, pool operators or other aquatic personnel, make sure you’re gathering this information early and storing it for easy access upon time of inspection.
Inspect, Replenish, Replace – Give consideration to the simple equipment upgrades that will make your next health inspection a breeze. Upgrade your chlorinator, replace your test kit and stock your safety equipment now. Budgeting for prudent upgrades will show your health department you’re committed to a safer swim season.
Self-Inspect – Think you’re ready to open? Put your pool to the test. It’s easy to run your own mock inspection. Pull last year’s initial inspection report and schedule time with your team to self-audit per official health department standards.
Be Quick to Call – Pools are busy places. As the season starts, be sure to keep your inspector in the loop. Make sure they’re up to date on all poolside incidents and accidents, especially those that might impact public health. Be quick to self-identify when things aren’t going according to plan. Your health department will appreciate your transparency and may be able to offer prudent advice during the most challenging portions of your swim season.
Prompt Reporting – Keeping your health inspector informed includes consistent and timely reporting of your daily chemical checks. As you complete required chemical reports make sure you are promptly sharing the results with your health department. Scan your reports weekly and send them in via email to cut reporting time. Not only will you be keeping your inspector up to date, you’ll be digitally timestamping your official documents. If your pool chemistry ever comes into question, you’ll be able to show the consistency in which you maintain and test your chemicals.