Discover How You Can Implement HOA Pool Rules, Texas
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Although community residents certainly appreciate having a place where they can cool off while socializing with their neighbors, your HOA board is taking on additional safety, maintenance, and compliance responsibilities by having a pool. To make your job easier, here are 10 guidelines to help you manage your association pool, courtesy of American Pool Enterprises. Your HOA management company can also provide recommendations and assistance.
1. Communicate and enforce the rules.As an adult, you realize that pool rules aren’t there to make you miserable. Sure, as a child you were probably annoyed to hear the whistle of a lifeguard or frustrated when a parent or guardian yelled at you for running. But now you know these reprimands were simply meant to keep everyone safe.
Make sure that residents at your community pool follow some simple rules. For example, no one should dive head first into shallow water, get excessively rowdy, or annoy other swimmers with rafts that are not pool appropriate.
2. Plan for pool maintenance in your budget.
Some of your ongoing expenses include items such as chlorine, test kits, reagents, first aid kits, and flex tubes. You also need to plan for regular maintenance, drainings, equipment cleaning, and insurance.
Depending on the location, overall maintenance, and usage of your pool, you may be able to save money by extending your draining schedule. Some pools can go up to three years between drainings. In many cases, a partial drainage is all that’s needed. Ask a professional what kind of draining would be appropriate for your pool.
Of course, you should expect the unexpected and budget for that as well. Things like emergency repairs and same-day services will inevitably come up from time to time.
3. Keep up with surface repairs.
Pool surfaces wear out, and the longer you let this go, the more it will cost to repair. If the bottom of your pool feels rough or causes scrapes, it’s definitely time to resurface. Check the sides and the area around the pool, too. Remember that the short-term expense of maintaining the surface will pay off in the long run, both in terms of money and reduced injuries.
4. Check the credentials of your pool management company.
If you hire an outside company to manage your swimming pool, make sure the company has all the licenses and certifications required by your municipality. A pool company should also know regulations about pool maintenance. For example, it is illegal to discharge swimming pool backwash water into gutters or storm drains. However, it is usually safe to discharge it in a lawn area as long as the water doesn’t run off your property and you water different areas on rotation to void a buildup of chemicals or salt.
5. Know what pool furniture and equipment you have and where it is stored.
This includes items such as chairs, tables, umbrellas, skimmer baskets, vacuum heads, ladders, and chlorinators. Store your equipment in dry, elevated places away from chemicals. Furniture should be kept where it won’t be exposed to the elements or be at risk of getting broken. Remember to also keep track of what will need to be repaired or replaced for the next pool season.
6. Find out if your pool needs to comply with the ADA.
A number of factors will determine whether your pool must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, is your pool public or private? Most (but not all) HOA pools are considered private. Even if your pool is considered public, you only need to make ADA-compliant changes if they are “readily achievable.” Speak to your association’s attorney to find out what your HOA may need to do.
7. Install a AED Unit.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) unit enables you to deal with cardiac emergencies. Even though you may not be required to have an AED in your pool area, it is a good idea to have one anyway. Make sure that you have appointed people who are trained to use it and that it is well maintained and kept up-to-date.
8. Assign responsibility for obtaining pool permits and certifications to one person.
Your HOA probably needs to file an operating permit each year for your swimming pool. In some municipalities, you may also be required to have a lifeguard, depending on the size of your community and the types of amenities you offer. Make it the job of one person to take care of the permit and any lifeguard certifications so that these tasks are not overlooked. Filing late can result in penalties or additional fees.
9. Request compliance reports.
Your local health department can perform a compliance test on your pool to determine if it will need any repairs or if there are other issues. This way, you will be able to take care of problems before opening the pool the following year. You may also want to review past reports to identify trends or potential issues so you can plan ahead and budget for what might need to be repaired in the future.
10. Get your pool ready for colder weather.
You may not want to think about it yet, but in most parts of Texas, you’ll need to close down your pool for the cooler months. Maintenance during the off season is just as important as it is during the warmer months.
Some of the things you can do include:
Treating pool water with algaecide or a winterizing agent
Removing the motor to extend its life
Lowering the water level below the skimmer so it stays out of the throat where it can freeze and potentially cause damage
Using a suitable cover to keep out debris
Draining all water from your filter equipment
Yes, it does take a lot of work to successfully manage a community pool. But the rewards are worth it for everyone in your community.
Now that you know how to manage your community pool, learn how you can reduce energy use and cost for your community here: Energy Tips That Can Mean Real Savings for You and Your Community