Recreational outdoor pools were some of the first facilities to open following COVID-19 shutdowns. As you take advantage of a cool swim on a hot day, you easily forget about all the work that running a pool requires. The following elements are crucial to keeping a pool safe for you and the other patrons.


Pools use a wide variety of chemicals to kill diseases and maintain a safe water environment. Most use chlorine as their major disinfectant, either in liquid or granular form, although some employ bromine. Additionally, employees must maintain a safe pH level in the water, which they adjust using muriatic acid or soda ash. Other chemicals are used to test the water’s chemical levels. Not only must these tests be administered by employees, but they must be produced and delivered by other workers. For example, the DPD reagent used to test the chlorine level must be manufactured and then bottled using products from plastic bottle packaging suppliers.


Having the proper chemical balance is only part of keeping you safe at the pool. Lifeguards must take classes in water safety and rescues before they begin working, and they must renew their certifications with the Red Cross every two years. Most companies require their guards to participate in regular trainings and audits to make sure that they remember these skills, which include performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, removing someone from the water with a backboard, and rescuing young children who have fallen into the water where they cannot stand. Like with chemicals, your safety depends not only on the guards’ competence but also that of the people who trained them and manufactured their rescue tubes, backboards, and CPR masks.

Going to the pool is so relaxing that it’s easy to forget how much work goes into keeping one operational and safe. Make sure to thank these workers the next time you visit yours.