Courtesy of Omnify, a SwimSwam partner.
Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the US. Lucky for many, most communities and HOAs in America offer at least one swimming pool.
A community pool adds great value to an HOA. There is nothing like bringing everyone together on a hot summer afternoon. Depending on the wide demographics, HOAs offer various amenities- clubhouses, gyms, patios, parks, playgrounds, walking trails, and so on. Yet a community pool is one that attracts homebuyers like no other.
A community asset as valuable as the neighborhood pool certainly makes pool management a key role in managing a community. For the community pool to be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone; maintenance, compliance matters, fair usage regulations, swim slots, safety, and liability concerns must be taken into account.
Making the most of summer pool-time and general amenity experience depends a lot on how a facility addresses and identifies the varied sets of risks and potential challenges in keeping all members safe.
Here are some of the common issues faced while managing a community pool with effective solutions.
How to Manage a Community Pool Effectively?
1. Repair and Maintenance
Repair and maintenance are central in providing the best possible comfort and relaxation for pool patrons. It requires the special intervention of cleaning and repairing personnel with huge maintenance costs. Therefore, regular checks of the pool surfaces and areas help in controlling the cost of maintenance. If pool repairs are not addressed in time, general maintenance costs may exceed 5 times for the same.
(Alt text: Pool maintenance is crucial for pool’s safety, disease control, safety of swimmers)
For greater safety, pool drains and covers should be in good condition (Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB)-approved) and should fit properly to avoid any sort of damage, injury, or mishap. It is wise to keep a checklist on the proper running of all the pool equipment, lockers, pumps, etc.
As far as pool water is concerned, regular cleaning is urgent. Pool filter media should be regularly cleaned to avoid debris accumulation. A community pool should undergo one complete cycle of filters every 6-8 hours depending on the usage.
As pool cleaning and maintenance are ongoing processes, it is best to adopt practices that help continue facility maintenance and repairs without hindering operations.
2. Keeping Communities Safe with ADA-Compliant Status
Swimming is one of the most inviting and inclusive activities to offer to a community. In this context, according to the latest ADA Act (Americans with Disabilities Act), pool facilities built after 2012 should follow guidelines to keep physically disabled members safe. Newly constructed and altered facilities should conform to the ADA Standards of Accessible Design to facilitate accessibility to people with disabilities. Additionally, pool facilities should remove accessibility barriers from their existing infrastructures allowing ease of entry and exit. As mentioned in the 2010 ADA Standards, a few infrastructural elements to be added are pool lifts, lifting capacity, size of the seat, and clear floor space.
Facilities should stay updated with some contemporary pool designs to improve accessibility to offer greater inclusion.
3. Safety Guidelines for Pool Patrons
Mostly with poor maintenance, comes a greater chance of facing recreational water illnesses (RWIs). It’s not just a complex problem to be solved by heavy use of disinfectants but requires a unique balance between cleaning, and water chemistry. It is important that chlorine levels and ph levels are duly checked.
It is important to educate pool staff and patrons about hygiene swimming. Encourage pool patrons to not visit during illnesses that could spread via water contamination. To prevent other forms of viral infections, a facility has to stay on top of sanitization.
Secondly, pool staff should adopt effective risk management strategies to prevent any sort of accident within the facility premises. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US. It is vital that swimming pool facilities are managed in accordance with the OHS Risk Management Policy to avoid slips and falls. Pool furniture should include non-slip mats in high-risk areas, use contrast color at the edge of the pool, install fences and gates, etc.
For addressing sudden medical emergencies such as seizures, heart conditions, etc, pool operators should be competent enough to handle such situations and undergo intensive training in rescue and first aid. Putting up signs about pool usage rules in and around the facility helps protect your facility from unwanted liabilities. A pool facility can ensure that all pool users accept your facility’s online liability waiver and terms of services before booking a slot, keeping your facility and staff safe from any damage and liabilities.
4. Effective Team Management
It is significant to empower the facility staff in ways that their individual contribution seamlessly aligns with the larger goals of the organization. In order to function in a cooperative manner, effective management of schedules and time slots is a must. Especially for swim coaches, the way they have continuous communication with their clients matters a lot.
A swimming pool booking and management system helps in managing schedules and availability better, avoiding chances of double-bookings, streamlines communications faster, avoids schedule clashes, and improves member experience.
5. Manage Swim Programs and Recreational Slots
Over the years these pool facilities have become inviting spaces with a blend of features for everyone’s access. Be it swimming lessons, low-impact aqua-fit lessons, group exercises, pool pilates, private sessions, pool parties, and so on, pool facilities today are as multi-functional as possible.
To manage such diverse programs and multiple recreational slots, a facility must be backed by the right tools to deliver the best experience without the hassles of manual bookings, and back-and-forth communication.
Adopting technology also helps in managing client information and member data better. Even with minimum staff and distraction, a pool scheduling and management system enables effortless scheduling and contactless check-ins for any preferred swim class, private session, or event!
6. Streamline all Communications Proactively
A key aspect that defines one facility is the quality of communication between staff and clients. Prompt communication with a personal touch reveals a lot about the facility’s concern for its patronage.
To maintain a high level of reputation, seamless communications and touchpoints are fundamental. Automated emails are an answer to this! Constant reminders about slot bookings, booking emails with facility guidelines, slot openings in case of a waitlist, and payment reminders help clients to stay updated. Automating personalized emails helps pool facilities to continuously cater to their client’s needs in real-time- right from the point they made a booking until the end of their session!
As the pool season gets closer, your facility would already be prepping up to host buzzing numbers. What better way to kickstart planning for the best outdoor season and summer’s most vibrant event- the Fourth of July! Make the best use of your facility and provide the finest amenity experience for your guests. Allow your members to ride the summer tide in the safest, cleanest, and most convenient way possible!
Make sure your swim club is backed by the right tools to optimize its operations and deliver the highest standards of service, Omnify offers an all-in-one class scheduling and management solution through an intuitive and easy-to-use platform. Sign up for a FREE TRIAL and get started today!