• Safety is a vital fundamental
• Continual training for all staff
“We have several staff members who retain Certified Pool Operator status. They test the water every hour to maintain proper levels of chlorine and alkalinity, and the overall water turnover rate is every six hours. In addition, staff is consistently checking on and maintaining the water hardness/softness factors to protect the structure of all pools and equipment” said Debbie Whitcher, Aquatic and Facilities Manager for Paradise Bay Water Park, an award-winning, six-acre, state-of-the-art facility located in Lombard, IL.
And when asked about cleaning routines around the rest of this six-acre facility, the response was just as detailed. “Disinfectant is used twice each day over the full facility. Spot cleaning is done all throughout the day; in fact at any given time we have six designated staff responsible for just cleaning the locker rooms that, at end of day, have received a combined total of three hours of thorough cleaning.”
For most waterparks, the filtration systems that are in place, coupled with the chemicals used, are the lifeblood of what keeps the water sparkling fresh. These massive systems of multiple filters are state of the art, and they should be considering they’re processing millions of gallons of water throughout numerous pool and water areas. In fact, in larger parks, it’s common for the water to be constantly recycled throughout the many layers of pools that are available.
Since cleanliness and safety seem to be issues that go hand in hand, we also liked this information provided from Dan Mulka, Marketing Manager at Raging Waves, Illinois’ largest waterpark: “Safety and cleanliness are two of the fundamentals that are vital to providing the best summer experience to every person that visits our park. For instance, we typically have over 40 lifeguards - all of whom are certified, trained, and licensed - present at one time, rotating through various positions to keep each guard as fresh as possible. But their official training is continuous to ensure that they keep their skills up.”
It was also reassuring to learn that most waterparks require all staff members, not just the lifeguards, to have some level of first aid training. Often this requires going outside the actual pool and water areas to identify potential hazards around the facility (such as picnic areas, concessions, parking lots, locker rooms, entrance zones, etc.) and includes training on the basic mechanics of the overall venue. And finally, an integral component of any venue’s guest-protection and safety plan is the inclusion of further training with local police and fire departments, considered part of the overall emergency operating team at parks all across the country.
So hopefully all this information has given you a new appreciation for the teams of professionals employeed to keep the millions of gallons of water used at waterparks clean and ready for your next adventure.