Environmental Health & Safety
University of Missouri-Columbia
January 4, 2006
Table of Contents
Standard for Swimming Pool Operation
1.0 Introduction 4
1.2 Lifesaving Equipment
1.4 Roles and Responsibilities
2.0 Training 6
2.3 Pool Staff
2.4 First Aid
3.0 Water Maintenance 6
3.2 pH /Alkalinity/Calcium Hardness
3.4 Bacteriological Quality
3.5 Algal Control
4.0 Routine Operations 7
4.1 Pool Cleaning
4.2 Toilet/Shower/Locker Facilities
4.3 Water Analysis
4.4 Water Balance
4.5 Mechanical System
4.6 Recirculation System
4.7 Water Level
4.8 Drain Covers
4.9 Other Equipment
4.11 Pool Inspection
5.0 Equipment Maintenance 8
5.1 Equipment Operation
5.2 Lint/Hair Skimmers
5.3 Equipment Log
5.4 Equipment Manuals
6.0 Patrons, Spectators and Staff 9
6.2 Bather Load Limit
6.4 Glass Containers
7.0 Pool Emergency Action Plan 9
7.1 Accidental Fecal Release
7.2 Accidental Vomit Release
7.4 Bloodborne Event
7.5 Dead Animals
8.0 Safety 11
8.2 Personal Protective Equipment
8.3 Material Safety Data Sheets
8.4 Depth Markings
9.0 Record Keeping 11
9.1 Daily Log
9.2 First Aid Log
9.3 MSDS File
9.4 Maintenance Log
9.5 Training Log
10.0 References/Links 12
Standards for Swimming Pool Operations
The University of Missouri – Columbia maintains a number of different types of
swimming pools from recreational pools to hospital therapy pools to competition
pools. It is necessary to maintain these pools in a proactive manner so that
accidents and swimming pool related illnesses may be eliminated for the patrons,
guests and staff. It is incumbent upon the pool operator to develop a pool guide
for each of the pools under their direction. This manual is intended to assist each
of the operators in developing an individualized pool guide specific to their pool.
Appendix E is designed to assist the pool operator in this endeavor.
1.1 A pool is an artificial basin containing water for the purpose of immersion
of people for recreation or therapy. There are six classes of pools,
depending on their use and location.
1.1.1 Class A: Intended for use in competitive swimming; may also be
used for recreational swimming.
1.1.2 Class B: A public pool intended to serve the general public.
1.1.3 Class C: A semi-public pool intended for use of residents of an
apartment, dorm, condominium, etc.
1.1.4 Class D: A special purpose pool that utilizes wave/surf action,
rivers, vortex, etc.
1.1.5 Class E: A therapy pool in which the water temperature is
maintained above 86˚F (30˚C), but less than 104˚F (40˚C), and
used for physical therapy. Hot tubs (spas) are also included in this
classification. Not to be used by individuals with high blood
pressure or heart conditions without the express consent of a
1.1.6 Class F: A wading pool with shallow water only. Also known as a
1.2 Lifesaving Equipment is equipment kept on hand at each pool to aid in
extracting a person from a pool who is having difficulty in maintaining
their ability to reach the side of a pool or is the victim of an accident in the
pool or pool area. This equipment will include as a minimum: backboard,
blanket, reach pole, torpedoes (rescue tubes) for each lifeguard on duty,
first aid kit.
1.3.1 AFR – Accidental Fecal Release or the event of someone
defecating in the water.
1.3.2 CPI – Certified Pool Inspector is a certified pool operator who has
passed a national exam in pool inspection.
1.3.3 CPO® – Certified Pool Operator is a person nationally certified in
all areas of pool management.
1.3.4 EHS – Department of Environmental Health & Safety at the
University of Missouri- Columbia.
1.3.5 NSPF – National Swimming Pool Foundation is the certifying
agency for the CPO/CPI ranking.
1.3.6 MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet, provides important
information on all chemicals and cleaning products.
1.3.7 PPE – Personal Protective Equipment used to protect all areas of
the body from possible contact or inhalation of contaminating
1.3.8 RU – Registered User, a person who has accountability for the safe
use of chemicals in a particular area. This person has a
responsibility over chemical workers in their area.
1.3.9 WRI – Water Related Illness is a bacterial infection from contact
with contaminated water.
1.4 Roles and Responsibilities
1.4.1 Department Head, Director, Assistant Director shall be familiar
with the Pool Manual, provide guidance and assure compliance
with all regulations. They shall insure that the Pool Operator is
properly trained and certified.
1.4.2 Pool Operator – CPO® certified. This person is responsible for the
operation of the pool and compliance with all regulations. They
shall assure that their staff is fully trained (see 2.0). They shall
prepare an individualized pool guide and emergency guide for their
1.4.3 Pool Staff – Depending on position, recommended CPO® certified
at the discretion of the pool operator. They shall be trained as
outlined in 2.0 below. They are to inform their supervisor of any
unsafe conditions for remediation.
1.4.4 EHS – Shall develop guidance, provide training, monitor for
compliance and provide consultative assistance.
Training of all pool staff in the operation of the various pool areas is essential for
the safe operation of all campus pools.
2.1 Pool Operator- required to be certified in pool operations (i.e. CPO® from
2.2 Lifeguards need to be currently certified as such by a recognized agency
such as the American Red Cross, YMCA or the Boy Scouts of America.
While on lifeguard duty, the lifeguard may have no other concurrent
2.3 Pool Staff – All persons working in the pool facility need to have a basic
understanding of pool operations, water testing and chemicals. Depending
on their responsibility, they may need the CPO® or equivalent rating as
2.4 All personnel shall be currently certified in basic first aid/CPR and have
current bloodborne pathogens training. This training can be provided by
2.5 Chemical use must follow all guidelines of the campus hazardous
materials management programs. Chemical/PPE Training is to be
provided to all staff who will be handling chemicals in any way. This
training will be provided by EHS. These staff must be listed as workers
under the RU in charge of the location.
3.0 Water Maintenance
3.1 Disinfection – Pool water shall be automatically and continuously
disinfected. All disinfecting materials and methods shall be used only by
properly trained staff. They will not create a nuisance to patrons or staff
and must be compatible with all other chemicals used. The chemicals are
to provide an effective disinfection of bacteria. Improper disinfection
levels may lead to pool closure.
3.1.1 Chlorine and bromine based disinfectants are the main chemicals
used on campus. Any other disinfection chemicals are to be
approved prior to use by EHS.
3.1.2 Cyanuric acid is not a disinfectant. It is for outdoor pool use only
as a stabilizer to prevent chlorine breakdown due to sunlight.
Levels should not exceed 80 ppm (Table 1).
3.1.3 Special purpose pools such as hot tubs and therapy pools which are
heated to a higher temperature need more stringent monitoring to
maintain proper levels of disinfection as the higher operating
temperatures provide a better medium for bacterial growth. (See
also 7.1 and 7.2)
3.2 pH/Alkalinity/Calcium Hardness need to be maintained in the ideal range
(see appendix C or D) to ensure proper pool maintenance by keeping pool
conditions in a range to prevent caustic or acidic conditions for equipment
and bathers. (See 4.4)
3.3 Turbidity – Water clarity will be maintained such that the cover plate on
the bottom of the pool shall be clearly visible while standing on the pool
edge. Cloudy conditions must be corrected immediately.
3.4 Bacteriological quality can be maintained by use of disinfection. If no
disinfection is present, bacteria can grow and cause staff and patrons to
become ill or experience ear infections. A monthly bacteriological test
will be performed by EHS.
3.5 Algal Control – the use of an algaecide, especially in outdoor pools, can
be a regular part of maintenance. Although algae is not necessarily
hazardous to people, it can be a nuisance in and around the pool. A
weekly wall cleaning will also assist in algal control.
3.6 Superchlorination/Superoxidation of pools must be done when the pool is
closed by trained personnel. The pool may re-open when the disinfection
levels have been brought back into the 2.0 ppm to 5.0 ppm range (see
appendix C or D).
4.0 Routine Operations
The pool operator or their designee shall be responsible for maintaining the
various pool areas according to their pool guide. The following elements should
4.1 Pools shall be cleaned as necessary to provide a healthy swimming
environment. This will include the walk area around the pool which must
be kept clean and sanitized.
4.2 All toilet, shower and locker facilities shall be kept in a sanitary condition
at all times. Disinfection of floors and fixtures will be done daily to
prevent infections and illness.
4.3 Water analysis shall be maintained according Appendix C and D to assure
healthful water. These results shall be recorded in the pool log (see 9.1).
4.4 Water balance, a condition in which dissolved minerals prevent the water
from acting as an acid or caustic, will be calculated monthly to prevent
undue stress on equipment and plumbing as well as bathers.
4.5 Mechanical rooms and systems shall be monitored for proper maintenance
and efficiency. These rooms shall be kept free of clutter.
4.6 Recirculation system shall be monitored for proper maintenance and
4.7 Water levels are to be constantly maintained for optimum pool health and
4.8 Drain covers shall be in good repair with no cracks or breakage. All drain
covers shall be of the anti-entrapment type. Replace broken or cracked
drain covers with anti-entrapment covers.
4.9 Other equipment such as first aid kits, lifesaving equipment, etc. are to be
maintained in peak operating condition.
4.10 Chemicals are to be properly stored, with appropriate secondary
containment if required, in a defined storage room and only taken out for
use. A chemical containers must be returned to storage immediately after
4.11 Pool inspection will be performed by EHS on a monthly basis. Results
will be recorded on an inspection form and presented to the pool operator
and/or designated member of the staff. Any problems will be discussed at
that time. See Appendix A and B for a sample inspection form.
5.0 Equipment Maintenance
5.1 All filtration and circulation equipment shall be maintained in peak
operating condition according to manufacturer’s specifications.
5.2 All lint/hair strainers and skimmers shall be kept clean.
5.3 A log of equipment maintenance shall be kept (see 9.4). Entries are to
include date, name of equipment, maintenance performed and any
5.4 All equipment manuals are to be readily available for all pool staff,
contractors and the sanitarian (or designee).
6.0 Patrons, Spectators and Pool Staff
6.1 Patrons are considered anyone other than pool staff. Signage should be
posted in the locker rooms to address the following:
6.1.1 Patrons need to be free of communicable disease and open wounds
to prevent contamination of the pool water.
6.1.2 All patrons need to shower before entry into the pool area.
6.1.3 All patrons need to wear a bathing suit. Cutoffs, etc. will not be
allowed in university pools.
6.2 The pool bather load limit is to be calculated and posted for each pool.
This limit is to be strictly enforced.
6.3 Spectators for events are to be limited to the bleachers. Only coaches,
pool staff and therapists will be allowed to be pool side. Food and drink in
the bleachers will be allowed at the discretion of the pool operator. For
pools with no bleacher section, events such as swim lessons, therapy, etc.
will be at the discretion of the pool operator.
6.4 No glass containers of any kind shall be allowed in the immediate pool
areas (pools and decks) or the bleacher sections.
6.5 Pool staff shall be subjected to the same rules as patrons.
7.0 Emergency Action Plan
An pool emergency action plan will be maintained in addition to the building
emergency action plan to cover possible problems. To be included shall be the
7.1 Accidental Fecal Release – An AFR constitutes a possible major influx of
bacterial and protozoan organisms into the pool water which can then lead
to bather contamination and a water related illness (WRI). Whenever
there is an accidental fecal release, the pool is to be immediately closed.
Once all of the bathers have exited the pool, the fecal material is to be
removed, if possible, with a scoop or net making sure to keep it intact as
much as possible. The scoop/net is to be decontaminated after use.
In the case of solid fecal material, the pool is to be maintained at the
normal chlorine level ( 2.0 – 5.0 ppm (bromine level 4.0 – 6.0 ppm) for a
30 minute period with a pH of 7.2 – 7.8 and constant filtration. Following
this proceedure the pool may be re-opened. Be sure to record date, time
and action taken in the pool log (see 9.1).
In the case of a diarrheal episode, the chlorine level is to be increased to
20 ppm (bromine level increased to 40 ppm) and maintained at this level
with filtration for an 8 hour period. Maintain the pH at 7.2 – 7.8. After
the 8-hour treatment, backwash the filter and discharge the effluent to the
sanitary sewer, not to the pool. Reestablish the disinfectant level to 2.0 –
5.0 ppm for chlorine or 4.0 – 6.0 ppm for bromine. The pool may now be
re-opened. Record the date, time and response in the pool log (see 9.1).
7.2 Accidental Vomit Release – Should anyone vomit into the pool, the pool
must be immediately closed. Once all people are out of the pool, maintain
the pool for 30 minutes at a chlorine level of 2.0 – 5.0 ppm (bromine level
of 4.0 – 6.0) at a pH of 7.2 – 7.8, keeping all filtration operating. Any
large pieces of vomitus must be removed from the pool by use of a scoop
or mesh devise while trying to keep it intact. After 30 minutes treatment
time the pool may be re-opened. Record the date, time and response in the
pool log (see 9.1).
7.3 Thunder and lightning events will close down any outdoor pool for a 30
minute period. The pool will remain closed until 30 minutes has elapsed
from the time of the last clap of thunder or flash of lightning. Any
subsequent thunder or lightning signals another 30 minute closing period.
Staff needs to be sure all patrons and staff are moved to a safe location
during this event.
7.4 An event that has bloodshed in the pool itself does not require the closing
of the pool as keeping the proper disinfection levels will negate any
problems. Closing for a 5 or 10 minute period may be done for the benefit
of the patrons to feel secure. If there is bloodshed on the pool deck (or
anywhere else) it will be necessary to treat the area and clean-up properly
7.5 Dead animals and insects within a pool or pool area need to be dealt with
before opening a pool for the day. Animals/insects in the pool need to be
removed and discarded. Dead animals on the pool deck need to be
discarded and the area must be disinfected.
8.1 Safety signs such as ‘No Lifeguard on Duty’ need to be posted where
everyone can see them before entry into the pool area. Pool entry
information is to be posted in the locker rooms. Other signs for rules, etc.
need to be prominently posted. The size of the sign and print will be such
that the sign can be clearly read from a distance of six feet.
8.2 Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for working
with chemicals. This may include possible skin, face and/or respiratory
protection. PPE selection shall be at the discretion of the RU in
consultation with EHS. Respirators are to be fit tested by EHS on a yearly
basis. Only properly trained personnel will be allowed to work with
8.3 MSDSs shall be readily available for all chemicals used in the pool areas
including pool chemicals and cleaning products.
8.4 Depth markings for pools must be placed on the pool side and deck
near the pool edge in numbers/letters at least four inches high. They must
be located on all four sides of the pool. At a minimum, they must be
placed at the shallow end, the deep end and where the floor of the pool
begins to sharply descend into the deep water, if applicable.
8.5 Fencing for all outdoor pools needs to be a minimum of four feet in height
above grade level. The bottom of the fence can be no higher than four
inches off the ground. Any openings, excluding entrances/exits, in the
fence can be no larger than four inches. The fence must not be easy to
8.6 All electrical outlets around a swimming pool must be of the ground fault
circuit interrupting type. No electrical cords will be allowed to contact the
pool water. Caution needs to be exercised with electrical cords on the
9.0 Record Keeping
All logs and records need to be available for inspection by the sanitarian (or
9.1 Pool Log - A daily log of all water testing results shall be kept for each
pool. Minimum data to include will be pool identification, date, results of
all water testing and time, any chemicals added, the amount added and
time. Any actions for emergencies such as an AFR are to be included with
what the action was, including date and time.
9.2 A First Aid Log is recommended to account for each incident. EHS needs
to be notified for all accidents. This can be accomplished by e-mail to the
9.3 MSDSs need to be available (see 8.3).
9.4 An Equipment Maintenance Log shall be kept to document all
maintenance of all equipment.
9.5 A Training Log is recommended to keep all staff training current.
Columbia, MO; Swimming Pool Ordinance and Guide
Iowa Pool Code; Revised May 2005.
Johnson County, Kansas Pool Guide
Missouri CSR 20-3.050 E
National Swimming Pool Foundation; Certified Pool – Spa Operator Handbook,
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards:
Making Pools and Spas Safer (March 2005).
Pool Inspection Form – Front
Environmental Health & Safety
University of Missouri – Columbia
8 Research Park
Columbia MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-7018/Fax: 573/882-7940
Swimming Pool ___ Therapy Pool ___ Spa ___
Date: _____________ Contact: __________________________________
POOL AREA: S U N/A LOCKER ROOM: S U N/A
1. Pool Markings ___ ___ ___ 15. Lighting ___ ___ ___
2. Proper Signage ___ ___ ___ 16. Dressing Room ___ ___ ___
3. Steps/Ladders ___ ___ ___ 17. Shower Room ___ ___ ___
4. Lighting ___ ___ ___ 18. Lavatories ___ ___ ___
5. Drain Cover ___ ___ ___ 19. Floors ___ ___ ___
6. Walk Area (Deck) ___ ___ ___ 20. Signage/Instructions ___ ___ ___
7. Diving Board(s) ___ ___ ___
8. Floating Markers ___ ___ ___
9. Life Saving Equip. ___ ___ ___ OTHER: S U N/A
10. First Aid Kit ___ ___ ___ 21. Records Check ___ ___ ___
11. Water Clarity ___ ___ ___ 22. Chemical Storage ___ ___ ___
12. Skimmer/Gutter ___ ___ ___ 23. Filter System ___ ___ ___
13. Hair/Lint Catcher ___ ___ ___ 24. Disinfecting System ___ ___ ___
14. Supervision ___ ___ ___ 25. Vacuum System ___ ___ ___
CURRENT READINGS: pH: ___ Cl-: ___ppm Turbidity: ___ Temp: ___F
Tot Alk___ppm Ca++ Hardness___ppm Br-___ppm Bacteriological___
PRIMARY DISINFECTING TYPE: COMMENTS:
Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione ___ __________________________________
Trichloro-s-triazinetrione ___ __________________________________
Sodium Hypochlorite ___ __________________________________
Calcium Hypochlorite ___ __________________________________
Lithium Hypochlorite ___ __________________________________
Chlorine Gas ___ __________________________________
Bromine ___ __________________________________
Other: ____________________ __________________________________
Inspector/Title: Richard M. Fancher, CPO/Sanitarian
Pool Inspection Form – Back
Explanation of Numbered Items
1. Pool depths are to be marked with clearly visible lettering/numbering at least 4 inches high on deck and pool side..
2. Proper signs of instruction are to be displayed in a manner consistent with high visibility. Special conditions such as ‘No Life
Guard on Duty” “Children must have adult supervision” are to be identified and posted at all entrances to the pool.
3. All steps and ladders shall be in good repair and firmly attached to the pool.
4. Lighting in the pool area, locker rooms and lavatories shall be sufficient for personal safety and security. Lights shall be
changed out as necessary.
5. Drain cover shall be not be broken, damaged or missing. Non-entrapment covers are encouraged.
6. Deck areas shall be of a non-slippery composition and wide enough to accommodate all patrons and guests using the pool. This
also includes pool furniture. Deck will be kept in good repair at all times.
7. Diving boards shall be in good repair and have a sufficient depth and surface area for swimmer/diver safety.
8. Floating markers shall be kept in good repair. And indicate where the depth begins to exceed 5 foot.
9. All life saving equipment shall be in good repair and readily available for use. At a minimum, there shall be a life ring with line
and a Sheperd’s Crook/reaching pool with a minimum length of one-half the pool width.
10. A standard first aid kit shall be available. First aid supplies shall be maintained.
11. Water clarity shall be as such as to clearly see drain cover at the bottom of the pool.
12. Water level maintained for continuous skimming.
13. Hair/lint catcher cleaned as necessary
14. Supervision of pool to be under certified operator.
15. See # 4.
16. Dressing rooms shall be kept in a clean, sanitary condition and in good repair.
17. The shower room shall be cleaned on a daily basis.
18. The bathrooms shall be kept in a clean, sanitary condition with a supply of toilet paper, soap and paper towels for patrons. A
waste receptacle shall be in a usable condition. A covered used sanitary napkin receptacle shall be maintained in the women’s
19. All floors shall be kept clean and in good repair.
20. Signage/instructions shall be used for the knowledge of patrons. Defaced/unreadable signs shall be replaced.
21. A record of all pool chemistry and maintenance will be kept on a daily basis..
22. All chemicals shall be stored in a manner consistent with EPA and EHS guidelines.
23. Filter system shall have guages for influent and effluent.
24. Disinfecting system identified as to chlorine, bromine or other disinfectant and be in good working order.
25. Vacuum System employed as needed to keep pool in pristine condition.
Water Chemistry/Testing Requirements for Swimming Pools
Chemical Minimum Ideal Maximum Testing
Parameter Range Interval
Available 1.0 ppm 2.0 ppm 5.0 ppm then every
Chlorine 4 hours
Bromine 2.0 ppm 4.0 ppm 10.0 ppm then every
pH 7.2 7.5 7.8 then every
Chlorine - 0 - Weekly
Alkalinity - 80 – 120 - Weekly
Hardness - 200 – 400 - Weekly
Acid - - 80 ppm Weekly
Water Chemistry/Testing Requirements for Therapy Pools and Hot Tubs.
Chemical Minimum Ideal Maximum Testing
Parameter Range Interval
Available 2.0 ppm 3.5 ppm 8.0 ppm then every
Chlorine 2 hours
Bromine 4.0 ppm 5.0 ppm 18.0 ppm then every
pH 7.2 7.4 – 7.6 7.8 then every
Chlorine - 0 - A
Alkalinity - 80 – 120 - Weekly
Hardness - 150 – 250 - Weekly
Temperature 86˚F 95˚F 104˚F Daily
(30˚C) (35˚C) (40˚C)
Template for Developing Individual Pool Guide:
This template is intended to assist each pool operator to develop a usable pool guide.
Each pool guide will be individualized and may not contain all the information such as
additional pool personnel. A copy of this Pool Manual is to be appended to the pool
Hours of Operation
Days of the week
RU/Person in Charge (include RU number): Name/Certifications
Additional Pool Personnel: Name/Certifications
Pool Classification and Clientele (see 1.1)
Safety Issues/Signage/PPE (see 2.0, 6.1, 8.0)
Pool Emergency Action Plan (see 7.0)
Disinfectant, manufacturer, application information
Others Chemicals: Name, manufacturer, application information
Water Maintenance Schedule (see 3.0, 4.0)
Equipment Maintenance Schedule (see 5.0)
Record Keeping (see 9.0)
Pool Diagram showing location of first aid, lifesaving equipment, chemical storage,
mechanical room, etc.