Pool cleaners are individuals who specialize in the care and maintenance of commercial and residential swimming pools. Some sources estimate there are over 15,400,000 pools in the United States which require the assistance of trained professionals. Pool cleaners use a variety of tools and provide a multitude of services based around keeping a pool healthy and functioning.
Cleaning a pool involves eliminating additives and growth in the water as well as scrubbing the sides, bottom, and fans. Uncleaned pools are breeding grounds for bacteria and parasites that lurk beneath the waves. The Center for Disease Control identified several common illnesses that result from unsafe or unsanitary pools, including infections of the skin, eyes, and ears. Several waterborne parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium can survive for up to ten days in chlorine-treated pools and cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. Professional pool cleaners have the knowledge to stop bacteria and parasites before they make swimmers sick, including the use of top-notch chemicals and additives.
The main substance used by pool cleaners is chlorine. Many residential and commercial pool owners make the mistake of adding too little or too much chlorine to their swimming areas, which can result in bacterial growth or chlorine-related distress. Too much chlorine can mix with the biological byproducts – hair, skin, feces, and sweat – that come from human swimmers. These by-products cause lung and skin irritation and can trigger allergies and asthma. Professional pool cleaners know the right amount of chlorine to use and how to identify when a pool has too much – the odor is usually a good indication.
Twenty-six states require that pool cleaners receive certification and special training, including California. The purpose of training is to avoid potentially damaging, costly, and toxic mistakes. The National Swimming Pool Foundation lays down guidelines for interested individuals and also controls certification. Many pool cleaners additionally belong to trade organizations such as the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, Inc. and the United Pool Association. Property owners who are considering hiring a pool cleaner can see the benefits of having a professional who knows how to manage the ins and outs of pool hygiene.