Best Practices for Pool Water Testing

Pool water testing is the process of collecting water samples from a swimming pool and testing them for various parameters such as pH, disinfectant levels, and other contaminants. The primary objective of pool water testing is to ensure that there is enough disinfectant in the water to kill germs while maintaining the correct pH level. Inadequate disinfection can lead to harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites thriving in the water, leading to illnesses such as skin infections, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Pool Water Testing Sample Point

When taking samples for testing, you need to collect them from a location that is most likely to have the lowest level of disinfection. The water returning to the pool from the plant room will have recently been injected with a fresh dose of disinfectant. As a result, the water at the inlets will be relatively strong with disinfectant, while the water at the furthest point from the inlets will be relatively weak with disinfectant. Therefore, it’s recommended to collect the samples as far as possible away from the inlets.

It’s also important to collect samples from the top 150mm of pool depth, where most of the pollution lies, to ensure that you’re testing a ‘worst-case scenario’. Avoid taking routine samples from the monitoring system’s sample point in the plant room. That spot isn’t intended for this purpose; it’s for calibrating sensors in the monitoring equipment against a sample of water taken from the same location on the system as the sensors.

Pool Water Testing Consistency

It’s best to be consistent when choosing a sampling point to identify patterns and trends in the test results, such as disinfectant levels increasing or decreasing from test to test. If you take samples from different points each time, it may be difficult to spot such patterns. However, periodically taking samples from various points around the pool can help ensure that your regular sampling point still accurately represents the actual pool water conditions.

Training staff in pool water testing is vital to ensure that samples are collected correctly and any issues are addressed immediately. It’s also important to note that pool sampling/testing and effective lifeguarding should not be carried out at the same time.