Preventing Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) is an essential task shared by different participants within a pool project: beginning with the pool design team and continuing with the aquatic facility managers, staff, users and, last but not least, the Health Department.
It is the pool designers’ duty to ensure that the most modern technology and design features are installed. Pool project managers play a key role in terms of assuring that the aquatic pool facilities are able to prevent Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) once it starts running.
Suggestions for pool designers to prevent Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs)
Based on the RWI outbreak investigations, swimming pool designers should consider the following suggestions in order to ensure healthy conditions in the aquatic facilities.
- Install an extra in-line disinfection system involving processes such as ultraviolet light or ozone in order to inactivate pathogenic microbes (e.g. Cryptosporidium) and thus, improve water quality.
- Installation of automated chlorinators and brominators to deliver a precise amount of chemicals to the pool water.
- Choose filters that are optimized according to the pool size for microbe removal.
- Avoid shared filters: especially wading pools should have dedicated filters to avoid cross-contamination from other pools located in the same facility.
- Include safety measures in order to avoid suction injuries.
- Decrease the time of exposure to germs and microbes by adopting wading pool turnover rates being a common accepted standard between 1 and 2 hours.
- Decrease exposure to chemicals and other pool water by-products by installing an adequate ventilation system in indoor facilities.
- Promote swimmer hygiene by providing enough safe restrooms with diaper changing zones and easily located showers.
- Promote good hygiene practices among both parents and children by installing easily located diaper changing tables and hand washing basins close to the kiddie pools.