We all know that opening a pool for Memorial Day week-end can be one of the most challenging and frustrating tasks a community can go through. Pools can be one of the biggest liabilities an association has, and the selection of a pool management company is probably one of the most important contractors a board must hire. This is not the time for a board to select a contractor based upon the lowest bidder. In order to obtain quality lifeguards and reliable service, the association must be prepared to spend ample money. Remember that you are hiring a firm that is in charge of the safety and health of your residents.
The information listed below outlines what community managers and boards of directors should do in order to have the pool ready for the Memorial Day weekend, especially those located in the northern U.S. climate.
- Contact committee members and board members for any changes or recommendations for next year’s pool contract.
- Solicit pool maintenance prices from various contractors based upon those recommendations.
- Drain main water line, hose bibs, water fountains, etc. for the winter season.
PLEASE NOTE: Dependent upon your local water company, the draining of the main line to the street may have to be completed by a representative of the water company rather than your local plumber.
- Clean and store chairs, tables and umbrellas. Inspect for damage and have repaired.
- Review pool management proposals with the committee for their comments and recommendations to the board.
- Distribute pool proposals and recommendations to the board for review.
- Obtain board approval and signatures for pool contract. Be sure to get the association’s and management company’s name on the insurance policy of the pool management firm as a “named insured.” Even if there is an extra charge, this is well worth the money.
- Send signed copies of contract to committee, board, and pool management firm.
- Send existing pool rules to committee for review. Request that all changes be submitted to management by the end of the month.
- Request information on pool tags from the committee. The committee needs to discuss whether new tags are needed and how they will be distributed to the community.
- Ensure board reviews and approves pool rules.
- Ensure board reviews recommendations from committee in connection with pool tags and a decision is made.
- Solicit prices for pool tags and order accordingly.
- Solicit prices for chlorine, if you purchase your own.
- Inspect pool and deck for sandblasting, depth marking, painting and other maintenance needs. Recommendations should be sent to the committee and the board. Solicit prices for work, if applicable.
- Check first aid kit for supplies. Order needed materials.
- Have keys made for clubhouse and pool gate.
- Obtain electrical certification.
PLEASE NOTE: In some states, the law requires that a pool should be electrically certified by an outside certification firm every three years. As the charge is minimal for this inspection and the safety of residents is imperative, consider having the inspection completed every year.
- Contact electrician to complete any repair work as noted by the inspector.
- Order chlorine, if necessary. Make arrangements for delivery no later than May 10.
- Confirm board’s decision on contractor for pool sandblasting and painting. Contract should be executed by board and distributed to everyone who needs it. Make arrangements to ensure that all work is completed no later than April 30. Obtain original insurance certificate from contractor.
- Sandblast and paint pool by end of month.
- Devise system for distribution of new pool tags.
Distribute Pool Census Form to residents in anticipation of pool tags. Check leases to make sure that names match on Pool Census Form. Check delinquency lists and advise any delinquent owner that pool tags will be denied until full payment is received.
- Distribute Pool Rules, Tennis Rules and any other recreational rules to residents.
- Arrange for the fire protection company to inspect fire extinguishers in clubhouse and pool area. One should be located next to pool mechanical equipment.
- Obtain copies of life saving certifications for lifeguards from pool management firm. Post copies of certifications next to pool equipment.
- Check equipment inventory, i.e., skimmers, backboard, extension poles. Order necessary items.
- Bring chairs, tables, and umbrellas out of storage. Check for repair work.
- Contact plumber or local water company to turn on water for clubhouse use. This includes shut-off at street, hose bibs, water fountain, etc.
- Purchase supplies for clubhouse. This includes paper towels, toilet paper, soap, cleanser for chairs, etc. Delivery of items should occur by end of month.
- Make arrangements to have clubhouse and bathroom facilities cleaned prior to Memorial Day. Review cleaning schedule for the remainder of the season.
- Check pool mechanical equipment ensure that it is operating properly.
- Distribute pool tags during first week of May.
- Meet with lifeguards to discuss pool rules and your expectations of them. Keys should also be distributed to them.
- Check pool and clubhouse area for wasp or bees nests. Contact exterminator if necessary.
- Plant flowers in beds around pool.
- Hose and sweep pool deck.
- Clean chairs, tables, and umbrellas.
- Clean clubhouse and bathroom facilities.
- Post electrical certification, lifeguard certification, your local Board of Health rules, and local Bathing and Spa Permit. They should be placed near pool mechanical equipment so that Board of Health representative can review them.
- Post Pool Rules on bulletin board in clubhouse.
- Chlorine should be delivered.
- Begin filling pool no later than May 10.
- Paint depth markers on concrete surrounding pool.
And most importantly, enjoy the summer!
Lou Ann Hingley, AMS, PCAM
Mid-Atlantic Management Corporation
Plymouth Meeting, PA