It isn’t just lifeguards enforcing a “no running by the pool” policy that helps to keep aquatic facilities safe.
In addition to enforcing common rules and regulations that swimmers have come to know for years, your part-time summer aquatic facility staff should have an in-depth understanding of the proper handling and use of pool chemicals in order to maintain a safe operation.To help managers provide chemical training to their part-time staff, The Chlorine Institute and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) have partnered to present an instructional video outlining best practices for storing chemicals in the pump room and properly handling them while poolside.
Before chemicals can effectively be implemented into pool water, they first need to be effectively stored within your pump room. It’s important to store chlorination materials of all types – tablet-based, liquid-based or granular – in a well-ventilated and cool area away from sunlight, as many pool chemicals can become unstable when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet light.
While it’s common practice to store chemicals that aren’t compatible in separate areas, space can often be limited. If that’s the case, avoid storing liquid and dry chemicals in close proximity. Specifically, liquid chemicals should never be stored above other chemicals due to leak concerns. Ensure that dry chemicals stay dry by keeping chemical bags off the floor and in a clean, dry and secure area.
Chlorine can be highly reactive with other chemicals. Improperly used pool chemicals can be corrosive and have an adverse effect on your lungs, while mixing chemicals can even lead to life-threatening scenarios. Aquatic facility staff members need to make sure they’re following the manufacturers’ directions by reading and understanding information on the product labels and are familiar with the directions required for handling.
In addition to protecting your eyes with goggles and your hands with chemical-resistant gloves, it’s pivotal to avoid the hazardous effects of cross-contamination. Only open one product at a time and be sure to tightly close a container before opening the next one. Be careful to avoid cross-contaminating containers and equipment such as scoops, buckets and any kind of dispensing equipment.
When pre-dissolving chemicals, it’s important to always add the chemical to water as directed. A dangerous reaction can occur if water is added to pool chemicals in the opposite order.
In Case of Emergency
Accidents can happen in even the most orderly pump rooms, but it’s important to know how to react if faced with an emergency. Always respond immediately to pool chemical spills, as even just a few minutes can make a big difference. If pool chemicals splash in your eyes, be sure to immediately flush them with water for 15 minutes at a sink or eye wash station. If pool chemicals splash onto your skin, immediately remove any contaminated clothing and rinse the affected area with water in a sink or shower and move to clean air if accidentally inhaling fumes. Most importantly, it never hurts to call the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222) or simply dial 911.
The Accu-Tab® Chlorination System and Acid-Rite® pH Adjustment System put safety and convenience first. The calcium hypochlorite, tablet-based systems minimize risk without the need for dual containment. Accu-Tab tablets also eliminate the danger of hazardous liquid spills and have a low odor, creating a friendlier working environment.