Pool season is here and with it comes the crowds and the germs. To help aquatics professionals mitigate the risk of recreational water illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created guidance for preventing these outbreaks.
RWIs cause pools to shut every year, and some even result in multi-million dollar lawsuits. Here is the CDC’s advice for combating RWIs at your pool:
Step 1: Decide that RWI prevention is a priority and lead by example through investment and commitment. Don’t wait until after an outbreak happens to do this.
Step 2: Develop partnerships with your health department and other aquatics facilities. If an outbreak occurs at another facility (or yours), work together to get the word out to swimmers and pools to prevent the spread of illness.
Step 3: Educate your staff on proper pool maintenance and RWIs. Teach your staff to enforce healthy, sanitary behavior at the pool.
Step 4: Educate your swimmers on proper pool etiquette. A recent study found three-quarters of caregivers are uninformed about RWIs in pools. An informed customer base is a safer customer base.
Step 5: Enforce high maintenance standards at your pool. Working equipment and chemical balance are key for safety. Also, don’t forget that normal levels of chlorine does not destroy many RWIs — invest in an Advanced Oxidation system for added safety.
Step 6: Design your facility with illness prevention in mind, including considering your filtration system and sanitization or disinfection system. Clear Comfort’s system rapidly destroys RWIs on contact, preventing outbreaks and lessening pool downtime if an outbreak were to occur. Watch our technology video to learn more.
Step 7: Institute appropriate guidelines for disinfection, including responses to accidents such as fecal contamination.
Step 8: Keep your bathrooms and locker rooms clean, well maintained and easily accessible to discourage improper hygiene in and around the pool.
Step 9: Encourage bathroom breaks for patrons by mandating a break every hour. This enables you to test the pool while patrons can use the restrooms.
Step 10: For large groups of children, require an RWI training for their caregivers or keep younger toddler-age children in a separate pool.
Step 11: Use signage to communicate proper pool hygiene to your swimmers and staff.
Step 12: Develop an emergency response plan and train your staff to be prepared to use it.
Read the CDC guidance.
Learn how an Advanced Oxidation System can help you rapidly destroy RWIs — even the chlorine resistant ones. Watch our technology video.