Oh, those lazy dog days of summer, lounging beside the pool with a cool drink and a good book, the scent of suntan lotion drifting through the air. Most who are fortunate enough to have a condominium pool know the enjoyment that it can afford. And in this current economic climate, the condo pool will be getting even more use as owners opt to stay poolside, cutting back on more expensive vacations and weekend trips.
Getting those sparkling blue waters ready for the summer swim season is no small feat. If your condominium is one of the thousands of New England condos planning on opening its pool in time for the traditional Memorial Day weekend, then now is the time to get yourself in gear. “Three weeks before you want the pool to open is when the process starts,” states Mike Giannamore, vice president of Aqua Pool and Spa in East Windsor, Connecticut. “You want to open the pool with plenty of time to handle and fix any problems.” In other words, an early start is no luxury, but a necessity.
Pool Opening 101
Where to begin can sometimes prove to be the hardest decision. As with most things in life, preparation is everything—and the pool proves no exception.
Lifeguards: “No Lifeguard on Duty” may be added to your pool’s safety signage if management is not on the ball early in the hiring process. If last year’s lifeguards have not signed on for another season, then it's best start the lifeguard search sooner rather than later. Area colleges as well as the local Red Cross chapter are good places to start. Word of mouth and referrals fromprior pool lifeguards also work well.
Deciding how many trained lifeguards are needed is oftentimes dictated by the local health and safety boards. The size of the pool area comes into play in determining this number. William R. White, vice president of The Niles Company, a property management company located in the Boston area, explains: “If a pool has a 2,000 to 5,000-square-foot surface area, then one lifeguard is typically needed. If the pool surface area is greater than 5,000 square feet, then twoor more would be required.” Condo pools are most often open from 10 in the morning to 9 in the evening, so two shifts are usually required.