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DIVE IN Q
We are thinking about opening a gîte and allowing guests to use our swimming pool. I want to know what regulations I need to have in place for the pool, in addition to the usual ones. For instance, I’ve been told that I need automatic pH and chlorine balance equipment. Please can you confirm what I need to do? JOHN WILLIAMS
Generally, as long as your swimming pool users are not paying specifically for using the pool, you will not be bound by the rules pertaining to the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS). However as these rules sometimes differ between departmental agencies of the ARS, you should check directly with your local agency before assuming anything. If you do need to put rules in place, you may be asked to provide recordings of specific chemical levels, wheelchair access, etc.
If you do not have to follow ARS regulations, and especially if you are not usually on-site or close by to carry out pool maintenance yourself, you would probably want to either have someone regularly visiting the pool to carry out chemical checks (as often as every three days in very hot weather) or have an automatic chemistry dosing system installed.
Most of the generally stable chemical levels in the pool are usually checked just once or twice during the season (for water hardness, total alkalinity and stabiliser) so at the very least you should be checking the levels which constantly change with bather load, water temperature and weather variations. These would be the ORP (sometimes simplified as chlorine level) and pH or alkalinity.
Two automatic systems to consider are Klereo ( klereo.com) and PoolCop ( poolcop. fr). Both systems manage the ORP and pH, as well as your pool heating and other devices such as pool and garden lighting, water features, etc. However the PoolCop also goes into managing the controlled cleaning of your filter by automatically backwashing as and when it is necessary. It also monitors your pool water level and intelligently fills up the pool (unless a storm is forecasted, in which case it waits!). Both of these systems can be monitored by mobile, tablet or computer.
These systems, when correctly configured, constantly measure the chemical status of the pool, injecting the appropriate amount of chemicals as and when necessary. Although not cheap, they do ensure that you use the very least amount of chemical to keep your pool algae-free and give you peace of mind. ANDREW LEE