July 4, 2024

The below article was originally published in as part of the WB Digital Newsletter in Q2 2024 released directly to Wilson Blanchard client Boards of Directors.

As warmer weather sets in, condominium communities across Ontario are preparing their outdoor amenities for use, sprucing up, repairing, and renewing some of the community’s most-loved features. Providing cool relief and a fun and healthy escape from the heat, a community pool might be one of the condominiums top amenities.

A popular place for residents to gather, it’s important to ensure your condominium pool is clean, safe, and properly maintained. Follow these tips to ensure your pool complies with Regulation R.R.O, 1990, Regulation 545, for a safe and enjoyable summer.

What to Do Before Opening a Condominium Pool

All operators must notify Public Health in writing of their intention to open a class A, B or C pool and must provide at least 14 days notice of the following;

a.. Facility name and address

  1. Owner/operator name , address and phone number.
  2. Intended opening date.
  3. The class designation of the pool.
  4. Building permit number( only for new or alterations)

To get your community pool ready for swimming, splashing, and other activities, do the following:

  1. Inspect and wash the pool deck and surrounding areas.

Every operator of a class A, B and C pool shall ensure the pool, deck and where provided, the dressing and locker rooms, toilets and showers are in good working order and free of debris or obstacles.  Ensure all signage posted is accurate and up to date as well ensure the pool phone is in good working order. Have your pool heater and related equipment inspected daily for damage, rust and other materials which may pose a safety hazard. Have all chemicals stored in a safe place. Depending on which municipality your pool is located in there may be different requirements for pool operations. Check all ladders going into the pool so they are safe and secure as well, stairs. Clean all tiles above the water level and check scupper drains for any blockage and clean daily. If any pool markings are required ensure they are in place. A black disc 150 millimeters in diameter on a white background must be affixed to the bottom of the pool at its deepest point. Have a sign posted as to the maximum number of bathers allowedPay special attention to:

  • Furniture. Look for frayed or damaged materials and broken or rusted pieces.
  • Fencing. See that gaps in fencing are within safe and required limits per local codes. Conduct repairs as required.  Ensure the fence height meets local codes.
  • Pool gates. Guarantee latching mechanisms function properly.
  • Make sure the locks/fobs work and are secure.

Give the area around your pool a thorough cleaning, too. A power washer can quickly tackle the grit and grime and efficiently transform the space.

  1. Clean and repair the pool.

Take extra steps to care for your pool’s interior. First, power-wash it to clear it of gunk, then address the areas that need to be repaired or replaced. It’s essential to guarantee the pool is safe for swimming and won’t cause injury or illness by:

  • Skimming and scrubbing the pool with a cleaning solution
  • Removing branches, leaves, and additional debris
  • Treating algae buildup
  • Attaching and securing ladders and handles
  • Eliminating debris from drains
  • Assessing tiles for chips and cracks
  1. Evaluate the filtration system and water quality.

Your community pool’s filtration system manages the water quality, working so that all the chemicals in the pool water are well balanced. Without a working filtration system, bacteria can form and cause illness. You’ll want to confirm pH and chlorine levels are safe, especially after a long closure.

According to Public Health, safe pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8. Chlorine concentration should measure to at least 1 ppm (parts per million). If levels are off, it can lead to a buildup of calcium around the pool and other issues. Total bromine levels should be between 2.0 ppm and 4.0 ppm, Total alkalinity levels should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. Water clarity must be visible from nine meters of the black disk located at the deepest part of the pool.

Testing of the pool water must be completed ½ hour prior to opening and every four(4) hours if you have an Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) sensing device, if no ORP is present, testing must be completed and logged every two (2) hours while the pool is open. Remember, all logs must be kept for a minimum of one year.

To test the filter system, simply review its components and check that they still function correctly. Consult with your pool’s maintenance vendor and examine the:

  • Filters
  • Water pumps
  • Heaters
  • Chemical feeders
  • Other unique components
  1. Confirm water levels are suitable for swimming.

Appropriate water levels are necessary for your pool’s longevity and safety. It’s likely that water levels have decreased since the last time your community pool was open, so you should use a pool skimmer to check. The skimmer is a small, rectangular opening that’s built into the side of your pool’s wall and links to the circulation system. Your water should be halfway up your skimmer plate; anything higher can damage pool pumps and cause cleaning mechanisms to be less effective.

If levels are too high, drain your pool and measure until it’s low enough. If levels are too low, pump water into the pool until it’s filled to the optimum level. Continue to monitor water levels throughout the season, especially after strong storms and significant usage.

  1. Required safety equipment.

Prior to pool opening day, your pool must have the following safety equipment. You’ll need them ready in case of emergency. Make sure these items are damage-free and in compliance with your  your local municipality.

  • Reaching pole
  • Two buoyant throwing aids
  • Spine board
  • Life vests
  • Emergency telephone
  • Ground fault detector
  • First aid kit
  • Class B pool with a slope greater than 8% must have a Buoy line
  • Safety signage
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