It’s perfect pool time for HOAs

With summer on the doorstep, now’s a good time for the Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs) in estates with communal swimming pools to focus on the maintenance and safety measures that will ensure a season of uninterrupted fun and enjoyment.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes: “Many factors such as weather, temperature, rain, sunshine, leaves, oils, sun lotions and sweat have an influence on pool water clarity and purity, so it is important to schedule regular tests of the water (twice weekly in summer) as well as the mechanical and safety equipment. It is also a good idea to keep a log of water treatments and chemical usage.

“The pool surround and the tiles, grout and inner surface of the pool should be checked before summer to see that they are in good repair, and pool skimmers must be emptied often to ensure the best water circulation.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says the HOA will also need to decide whether to handle the pool chores in-house or to hire a pool maintenance company and add the cost to the monthly levy.

On the subject of pool safety, Everitt says there is “simply no substitute” for adequate adult supervision when the pool is in use - and sturdy fencing when it is not. In most parts of SA, local authority regulations stipulate a 1,2m fence with a self-closing gate and child-proof latch.

“And the ‘pool rules’, which should be agreed on by all owners in the estate, should be circulated to every residence in the estate and prominently displayed at the pool entrance. These should include prohibitions against swimming alone, against horseplay around or in the pool and against the consumption of alchohol in the pool area.”

He says the HOA must also make sure that a first aid kit and rescue equipment such as a ring buoy, life hook and backboard are on hand in the pool area and readily accessible.

“And finally, care should be taken when using and storing pool chemicals. These are potentially dangerous substances and should be kept in their original containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated and locked storage shed.”

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