Cleanliness is important in every rec center, but it’s arguably most critical in the aquatics facilities. No one wants to swim in a dirty pool, and diligently practicing good aquatics cleanliness can be very important to boosting participation.
For more insight into the best aquatic cleanliness practices at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Cody Demas, the school’s aquatics coordinator, shares his experiences:
CR: What are some of your best aquatics cleanliness practices?
CD: Routinely backwashing and monitoring our filtration system helps protect and prolong the life of our operating systems while also optimizing the cleanliness of our pool water. Our staff training sessions incorporate proper necessities regarding pool closures and remedies, and utilizing an “all hands on deck” approach to do our best to maintain a high aesthetic appeal for our users.
CR: How can pool cleanliness affect aquatics participation?
CD: We are thankful to have the amount of oversight we do with our operations so if something isn’t quite right, we are able to make things right in a timely fashion. Luckily, those circumstances do not arise very often and we are able to program our pools at a very high level with our six water club sports, varsity swim and dive team, SCUBA/Group Fitness programs, external reservations, and a rather large Learn-to-Swim program that serves both our campus and local communities.
CR: Why is it important to instill a culture of cleanliness in your aquatics staff?
CD: The level of care demonstrated by our entire team is what has allowed for a successful operation. Without the sense of care displayed by the staff, our expectations would be set much lower and they would not be gaining as valuable of a work experience. It is our hope that by setting the bar higher in operating a clean and efficient workspace, they take that value with them on to their next line of employment after graduation. Once this culture is set and adhered to, the benefits of increased membership and groups wanting to utilize your facilities and be part of something special make our jobs a lot of fun.