Alexandria, VA (Oct. 21, 2022) – For those who haven’t had access to their own pool this year, the thought of creating a backyard oasis may top the list of to-do’s in prep for next summer. With the rising demand of pool installations, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) along with its water safety initiative Step Into Swim are offering homeowners tips for navigating the process and ensuring safety is top of mind.
“People are redefining how they spend time at home with their families and we’re seeing more pool installations than ever as a direct result of the pandemic,” said Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development at PHTA who is leading the Step Into Swim initiative. “While a new pool is an exciting endeavor for families looking to spend quality time together outside, it is critical to prioritize safety around the water.”
PHTA’s pool installation considerations and tips for homeowners can help make sure it is a smooth process from the start.
- Set a budget and plan ahead. Timing is everything. Homeowners who want to add a pool are likely looking at a wait list – but we’re here to tell you it is worth the wait. You could have a pool for next year’s summer season.
- Find a certified professional. Use our professional locator to be connected to builders in your area. We also suggest asking friends and colleagues who have pools. Look for builders who are certified professionals who can provide you with strong recommendations.
- Work with a pool designer to determine your dream pool. This is an opportunity to discuss pool size, amenities, and added features based on your budget and the outdoor space.
- Research and understand local laws, permit needs or restrictions from a homeowner’s association before the project begins. Oftentimes, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to look into these.
- Work with your pool builder to finalize the plans and keep open lines of communication about the phases of the pool installation process, including scheduling, permitting, excavation, plumbing and electrical, shell install, tile and decking, equipment, and final touches.
Once a backyard pool is set up, Step Into Swim’s tips for keeping it safe can help homeowners give their friends and loved ones an enjoyable experience in the water free from harm.
- Hygiene and Health
- Shower or rinse off before swimming in the pool. This helps maintain the pool’s water quality.
- Keep sick children out of the pool.
- For babies, change swim diapers frequently. For toddlers and older children who are potty trained, take bathroom breaks throughout the day.
- Teach children not to drink pool water.
- Pool Maintenance
- Pool owners should talk with their pool service company or vendor about proper maintenance and care.
- CDC guidelines recommend testing the chlorine level and pH of pool water at least twice per day, and more often during heavy use.
- Seal pool chemicals in their labeled containers; keep away from children and animals.
- Drowning Prevention
- Enact multiple layers of safety. Pool covers, fencing and alarms are all safety devices that can help delay a child’s unsupervised access to water.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons as they will be spending more time in and around water with a pool at home. Learning to swim from a qualified instructor can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1 to 4.
- Establish pool rules to keep your loved ones safe. Rules can be anything from restricting swimming after dark, making sure no one swims alone, ensuring children ask an adult before going near the water, and safely storing toys to avoid an accidental fall into the pool.
- Always keep an eye on swimmers because drowning can happen in as little as 30 seconds. It’s easy to be distracted, but there should be a designated adult watching children in the water.
For information on pool installations and maintenance from PHTA, visit www.SplashFacts.org. For safety tips and resources, visit www.StepIntoSwim.org.