Apr 21, 2020 10:42:14 AM / by Claude Kershner IV

A pool technician arrives at your property to perform routine service—weekly pool cleaning for residences, and service three to five times a week for commercial properties. You see the pool cleaner take various measurements and then add some liquids and powder chemicals to the pool water. You might be wondering, "Will this service keep my family safe from the virus?" "Is it more dangerous to have another person on my property?" "Is it safe and prudent to swim in my pool during this time?" "Should I do my pool service myself in this time?" “What is that stuff?” “Are those chemicals safe?” 

The importance of pool cleaning during COVID-19: why this service is essential 

Regardless of who does it, it is imperative to keep you pool properly sanitized and clean for many reasons that we will discuss. It is especially important during this season of COVID-19, not because the virus has been proven to spread in pools or spas but because of the ongoing sensitivity to sickness. Any "pooling" liquid of any kind that is untreated is a threat to your health and safety. 

According to the CDC and local DOH, maintaining properly sanitized swimming pools and spas would be considered essential to public health. They further explain that having a body of water that is not being properly maintained would increase the health risk to the public. When pool water is not properly balanced, that’s when you run into issues like bacteria growth, the presence of microorganisms, and other “nasties” that can make you sick. Disease can be transmitted through dirty pool water—and that’s why chlorine and the pool chemicals we described here are absolutely critical for maintaining the health and safety of swimmers.

Can COVID-19 spread through pools and spas?  

Thankfully, as mentioned above, there is no conclusive evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas, or water playgrounds. Yet the CDC further explains that proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. 

While there is ongoing community spread of COVID-19, there should be appropriate care taken both in and outside the pool, to protect yourself and others. Owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, or spas should follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.

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Safe to Swim: Creating The Perfect Balance in Pool Water

The basic pool chemicals that create perfectly balanced water are: chlorine, muriatic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium, stabilizer and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) powder for DE filters. (Filters with cartridges can be removed and washed out, while DE filters require backwashing and applying a new coating of DE powder to catch microorganisms.)

These are questions that our Certified Pool Operators (CPO) get often when they’re in the field servicing pools and spas. Ultimately, people want to know: Is my pool water safe? And, more specifically, some families are concerned about the health of babies, young children, pets or individuals with skin conditions that could be aggravated by chemicals.

We think these are important questions to ask your pool professional. As a wise consumer, it’s good to know exactly what is in your pool water—you need the truth.

The good news: When a trained, experienced CPO is cleaning your pool on a routine basis (as determined by the pool’s use and typical bather load), the water is safe for swimming. Pool water is healthy, well-balanced, clean and comfortable.

Balanced pool water with the correct pH is safe for babies that are three months and older to swim in. (Doctors often recommend waiting until that age.) Pool water chemicals are safe for children and pets. If you have a skin condition, consult with your doctor to find out if swimming is safe. For example, physicians will advise those with wounds to stay out of the pool—not only for the health of the person, but because open wounds can spread bacteria. (By the way, the chemicals in pool water will kill that bacteria, which is why you want to be sure that chemicals are properly applied and balanced.)

Pool chemicals are safe because they work in harmony to create water that is sanitized, disinfected, the correct pH and simply comfortable for swimming.

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Who Do You Trust To Maintain Your Pool Water Quality?

Pool chemicals are the “good guys” that keep water sanitary, bacteria-free and safe. So, if you are concerned about adding chemicals to your pool, rest assured they are not only safe—pool chemicals are essential. You just wouldn’t (and shouldn’t!) swim in a pool without them.

This brings to mind the importance of hiring a professional to apply pool chemicals—a technician that is CPO certified, which requires many hours of certification training before gaining licensure. CPOs are well-versed in pool chemicals and understand how to create that perfect balance. Commercial pools should not be cleaned by anyone but a CPO, and we feel the same way about residential pools. Would you want an under-trained person to be in charge of adding chemicals to your pool? (We didn’t think so.)

Reef Tropical provides comprehensive pool and spa maintenance that not only saves you time, but ensures that your pool and spa is sanitized correctly, that equipment is cared for properly and that any costly issues are caught early. We take pride in our highly knowledgeable team of certified professionals that maintain luxury pools in South Florida and The Keys.

Let’s make sure your pool water is safe, sanitary and balanced. Call us any time at 305.367.2005, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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Topics: Pool & Spa Maintenance

Claude Kershner IV

Written by Claude Kershner IV

President Reef Tropical • Pool & Landscape

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