Shutting Down A School Pool For Half A Year

by Shirley Denesha
(Edwards, New York USA)

I am a certified pool operator and work at a school. My arguement is that if they shut down the pool for 6 months that it could cost the district more or the same amount as if they would leave the pool up and running.

Please comment.

Thanks for the question Shirley

It would be difficult to give a detailed answer because there are many variables. The question doesn't say whether it's open to the public, if you charge for open swims, it's usage; heavy or light, etc... I can only go on personal experience, so this will be my answer.

We had to close the YMCA pool for about 3 weeks because the dehumidifier and exhaust system went down. Condensation started to develop in the attic and roof above the pool and caused about $15,000 in damage. It was eventually repaired. We lost revenue from open swims, but we didn't have to pay the guards either.

If it's simply a case of closing the pool, all things being equal, I would say you would probably save a little money because:

1. Less chemical use

2. Less water due to drag-off

3. Less heating of the pool and the pool area

4. A solar cover would save on evaporation

5. A savings on water due to less backwashing

6. If you have lifeguards, you wouldn't have to pay them

7. A savings on the electricity because the exhaust wouldn't need to run for extended periods

8. A savings on Reagents (if you use a Taylor Test kit)

On the other hand if you do have open swims to the public, you might be losing revenue from that. I know that when we closed to Y pool we saved on all of the above factors. My advice is to make a detailed analysis of everything, down to the smallest detail, then present it to whomever are the decision makers in this matter. I suppose you can look at it from this point:

If you own another house, but don't live in it, you don't pay for extra electricity, water, trash, etc... You can calculate all of the above and other factors specific to your pool, then take the loss of revenue from other avenues (if applicable), and you should have your answer. When you say "shut down" I will assume you mean you'll keep the filtration system running, but not have anyone actually using the pool.

If the "shut down" means to turn everything off for 6 months, then you're going to have a pretty big issue with possible mold, algae, and the like. This means a major chlorine shock which would be completely avoidable if the filtration system was kept running.

Again, I'm not familiar with your specific issue. There may be other factors that I'm not aware of at this time, but this is the best answer I can give with the information provided to me.

Hope this helps


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