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Can pool businesses remain open amid COVID-19 mandate?

Routine maintenance and seasonal operations of pools such as spring openings should also continue to combat other potential issues such as stagnant water, which could create further waterborne viruses and the breeding of disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes.
Routine maintenance and seasonal operations of pools such as spring openings should also continue to combat other potential issues such as stagnant water, which could create further waterborne viruses and the breeding of disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes.

In an attempt to fight the spread of COVID-19, Ontario’s mandate to close all non-essential businesses for two weeks has some in the aquatics industry questioning where they fit.

The closures were announced by Premier Doug Ford on Monday and take affect Tuesday (March 24) at 11:59 p.m. While the current list of “essential businesses” that may remain open for the next 14 days during the COVID-19 pandemic comprises specifics for some businesses/sectors, the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada (PHTCC) feels it also leaves some open to interpretation.

“We are currently seeking further clarity on behalf of the pool and spa industry,” said PHTCC president, Crystal Lengua. “Although this situation is changing rapidly, we are continuing to take steps to reach federal, provincial, and municipal governments and top health authorities for clarity on essential versus non-essential services, and to advocate for our industry’s important role in disease prevention through ongoing water quality management.”

The PHTCC believes businesses in the aquatics industry qualify as ‘essential’ under the following categories as written by the Ontario government:

  • (2) Businesses engaged in the retail and wholesale of food, pet food and supplies, and household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and businesses, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets, and other similar retailers.
  • (13) Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings, including property management services, plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics (e.g. heating, ventilation, and air conditioning [HVAC], escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services.
  • (28) Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential sectors.
  • (70) Businesses that support the safe operations of residences and essential businesses.

The list of ‘essential businesses’ in Quebec was also released. The closure of non-essential businesses in each province will be reassessed after the 14-day period with the possibility of extending the order as the situation evolves.

In Ontario, businesses that continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures, are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt. Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure everyone has access to basic necessities.

“Based on the briefing from Premier Doug Ford, the key takeaway for all businesses is the health and safety of workers and customers are the top priority,” said Lengua. “The government expects businesses to make adjustments to comply with social distancing and other precautions outlined by the ministry of health (PPE, sanitizing etc.).

“He mentioned the list is flexible and they are open to adding/removing essential status as the days go on, but for now it looks like we are able to remain open with proper precautions in place.”

One Ontario-based pool builder is doing just this. According to Frank Blanchet, president of Betz Pools Ltd., in Stouffville, they are doing their best to comply with the government’s request that construction and home maintenance businesses continue to operate and support the economy.

“We have had meetings with our staff and established guidelines for working safely, including keeping a proper distance from each other and our customers,” said Blanchet. “We have instituted all the recommended precautions for disinfection and social distancing at our offices and at customer properties. We have also informed our customers about our new safety procedures and are asking them to do their part.”

Another precaution the company has taken is closing its store. They are encouraging customers to place orders online and they will deliver. Customer water samples can also be left at the store entrance and Betz Pools will email the test results.

“So far, so good,” said Blanchet. “Things are going as planned and we will continue to monitor the guidelines of our governments and do our part to help keep everyone safe.”

Michael Willis of Roger Willis Pools & Landscapes agrees and believes some segments of the swimming pool industry should be deemed as essential services.

“Swimming pool maintenance and service work should continue to be certain both residential and commercial swimming pools remain sanitized and operating at safe levels, he said. “Routine maintenance and seasonal operations of pools such as spring openings should also continue to combat other potential issues such as stagnant water, which could create further waterborne viruses and the breeding of disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes.”

In this regard, the PHTCC will be getting the message to key authorities that companies who provide pool and hot tub maintenance and service, that are currently constructing a pool or spa, or are supplying the sanitization and disinfection materials should be considered essential and be able to stay open while observing top standards on social distancing in all aspects of their operations. The association is also distributing COVID-19 best practices guidelines and industry information to ensure businesses and their customers stay safe and healthy while continuing to care for pool and hot tubs in a responsible manner.

Looking forward, once health authorities get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, it will be important for businesses to understand how market will have changed, said Steve Leslie, the customer service manager for Highbury Pools, a manufacturer and distributor of pool products in London, Ont.

“More people are going to be focused on the ‘staycation’ rather than the regular vacation, and will also have access to cheaper money in order to create their backyard oasis,” he said. “If you can get past the doom and gloom of the current situation, and look for the opportunities that have been created as a result, your company will be in a position to prosper while others are doing nothing. Therefore, it is important to find a way to compete where others can’t, or won’t, while staying safe and healthy.”

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52 comments on “Can pool businesses remain open amid COVID-19 mandate?”

  1. I’m scared because my dad’s a pool cleaner and I worry for his safety. He has no one to help him it’s just me and him here. Not only does this job stress him out but it wears him down his hands are dry and rough the heat literally kills him. And now the virus is making me and him worry. Not only that but my dad’s self employed runs his own pool cleaning service and he’s the only worker. It’s not a good thing right now. I worry so much but I guess it’s good he doesn’t have to be around too many people and rarely are the customers him where he has to talk face to face. So what do you think? Will we he still be able to work? I can’t get a job…I’m still in highschool and jobs that hire teens could put me at risk. I worry about this. And this is the first article I’ve come across talking about the pool cleaning business whether it’s essential and can they still work. We have 16k in savings but that’s to get a house…I worry what will happen if we have to start dipping into there. I have 200 dollars I know it’s lame but I’d give it all to help. This is scary and everyone’s saying stay home but my dad can’t. Idk. I pray for us to stay safe. And we will get through this.

    Now that I think about it is Ontario in Canada? We are in Texas and we just just got a emergency alert that numbers are rising in our area and to STAY HOME its hard.

    1. Hi!!
      I just read what you wrote and I’m in Florida and this was the only thing I could find about this subject.
      I was looking cause here in Hillsborough county ( Tampa area) we just got a “Safe at Home” order and I was worried cause my son cleans spas.
      I think your dad and my son should be fine as long as they stay a safe distance from any homeowners.
      You’re a good son to try to figure out what he should do cause these orders aren’t clear. Ours says, you cannot go to work unless you preform essential services. And surprise no explanation or list of such services
      Follow all the rules for safety like washing hands and staying home as much as possible. All the best, Anne

      1. Hi Anne,

        You may find more answers with the PHTA (Pool and Hot Tub Alliance) in the USA. I have been following them on LinkedIn for the past month. Hope this helps!

        Thank you,
        Steve Leslie

  2. I am the owner of a good sized pool construction company and retail pool and spa store. I currently have 25+ employees on furlough/mandatory layoff due to this coronavirus in upstate New York. There are other pool retailers in our area that are touting that they are a essential business because they sell pool and spa chemicals I believe people like that are just in it for the profit as all the other pool stores around them are closed. Pools and spas are not essential! Spas can be drained and refilled at a later date as well in upstate New York and Canada pools are still closed for the winter season. People in larger cities should take this seriously. When is profit more important than your life! I would like to get our company back up and running again ASAP but it’s not worth putting your health at risk!

    1. HI there, Has your company left an pool unfilled and no protection during this Covid 19? Im in California and have this big hole in the ground and no protection and no timeline.

    2. Listen first of all you’re a coward hence you remain anonymous. I am proud to be a Canadian pool owner. If you had any common sense You’d be aware “ALL POOL OWNERS HERE ARE RESPECTING THEIR RESPONSIBILITY for everybody’s sake!!!! To remove all stagnant water to stop the growth of bacteria, algae and MOSQUITO BREEDING AS NOBODY KNOWS THE EFFECTS THEY COULD BRING…BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. THEREFORE STOP YOUR JUDGING AND DEAL WITH YOUR OWN PROBLEMS!!!! I get you must be bored but every individual can make their own choices and nobody else can change this fact. Be happy knowing that we are all working together to ensure that any bacteria will not survive!! To leave your pool closed only creates havoc as it still will be stagnant water and empty it is then dangerous to people and in that empty pool, then can fill up with rain and it becomes a vicious circle. So face it. It is essential and so are the proper chemicals to keep us all safe. Remain open minded. You are coming off as selfish and jealous. Look 👀 in the mirror as the problem will be looking at you. Mind your own business

  3. We are in Lakeland Florida…We have a Pool Service Company. I am trying as well to find out if we are considered a Non-Essential service. I contacted the FSPA this morning waiting to hear back from them. We are not only concerned about our service techs but the home owners safety as well.

    1. Hi Bob!
      Although some aspects may not seem essential- the companies that supply pool sanitization and disinfection materials (through manufacturing, distribution or retail stores), the companies that manage the maintenance of swimming pools, hot tubs and other artificial bodies of water and the companies currently constructing in-ground pools and spas are essential to preventing the transmission of infectious diseases, helping maintain community health, and ensuring public safety. Warm weather is upon us and open bodies of eater create breeding grounds for mosquitoes and infectious disease…

      Making adjustments to how businesses are run in this time of crisis is key- but it’s essential to have safe water in homes where people are in isolation.

      I hope that helps!

      1. I’m sure mosquitoes are preferable to an illness that could literally put people’s lives at risk. Want to prevent “infections disease” (which is questionable) then heres a crazy idea. Maybe don’t go swimming. A lot of us don’t have that luxury in the first place. It won’t kill people to avoid their pools for a few months. But it could potentially seriously harm employees or their families health to GO to work as, we’re currently in a state of emergency. So many people working in this industry are older. They could not handle getting COVID 19 but it doesn’t seem like companies care about that.
        As long as pools are closed, they should stay closed. A lot of companies are forcing their employees to return to open pools and that IS NOT ESSENTIAL.

        1. IF a pool is built it is essential note ESSENTIAL that the water in the pool be sanitized and treated to avoid amongst many other things mosquitos laying eggs on the pool. I am not speaking of jumping in the pool but merely keeping it safe for everyone and in the process keeping disease carrying mosquitos from laying eggs.
          Educate yourself before letting your big fat mouth run–you don’t have a pool and i can tell–you know NOTHING about pools or chemistry.

  4. Pool companies should stop being so selfish and really think about their employees and their families during this time. Pools and spas are a LUXURY. This is a LUXURY service and you should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to convince people otherwise. You are twisting the government’s words. I called a local government office here in Ontario and they flat out advised us that pool companies are non essential and they could be fined up to $25000 a day for being open and putting employee lives at risk. We also made them aware that pool companies are forcing people to return and we will keep them updated until this stops. This is disgusting. I have family working in the industry and I am genuinely scared for their safety. Mind you, since restaurants and gas station bathrooms are now closed, these people working on the road have no access to clean, sanitized bathrooms. You’re forcing your workers to choose between keeping themselves and their families safe or paying their rent, DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY. This is flat out disgusting.

    1. Keeping water clean and safe isn’t a luxury it’s a need. Not sure who you spoke to but that’s not the reply we got when we called our mop. You want another open water mosquito outbreak cause of dirty water? Most pool companies I know closed their doors but are selling online which is helpful. The government said no one has to work if they don’t feel safe so just tell your family member not to go to work if they don’t feel safe.
      Open holes of dirty water is a public health concern.

      1. Closed pools should stay closed. These companies are forcing their employees to return to work to open pools. This is NOT ESSENTIAL. Most canadian pools have closed for the winter and have already been treated to prevent these things. Opening your pool is far from a necessity.
        And I’ll mention again that this is inhumane since these workers have no access to clean and sanitary bathrooms during this time. And no they can’t just refuse to work since their job security is being threatened. The people who CHOOSE to work can maintain OPEN pools and even do treatments to prevent mosquitoes if theres a staff shortage. These companies are making employees choose between paying rent and staying safe to OPEN POOLS THAT DO NOT NEED TO BE OPENED. They need to really have their priorities in check and stop telling people to return to work and open pools, sure they could just not go but what in 3 months when this is over they cant pay their rent? You’re clearly too privileged to understand what that feels like. And I’m glad you spoke to one person who agreed with you. I’ve spoken to several and will continue doing so until pool companies are publicly stated as non essential.

        1. Where do you live that people are opening pools? The season hasn’t started… you are clearly mad because your family member is working but you need to understand that people can open their own pools and they need chemicals when the time comes. Breathe a bit.

          1. I live in Toronto and all the companies are scheduling openings. I know for a fact a few were done this week. If people can open their own pools I don’t know why companies are forcing employees to come back during this time. Chemicals can be considered essential in my opinion but Toronto pool & spa chemical STORES are closed because they’re non essential. If those are closed then why are maintenance and service employees being forced to come back to work to open pools. I wish I could breathe a little but trust me if most of your family worked in the industry and their health was at risk as well as their job security if they’re not comfortable going back to work, I bet you’d be pretty heated too.

          2. Exactly. The season has not started yet. So why exactly are the service companies remaining in operation?

        2. Anyone can refuse work if it’s unsafe I’m a general contractor and never force any one to work. I build decks, fences for years – and from the ground up.
          Pool and Spa is a Luxury. People, do it yourself, enjoy your home time, get it done on your own and enjoy the sanity of your backyard. We all have time at home so make the best of it.

          1. Not everyone can open their own pool. You need the right tools and knowhow for one thing. Also, safety covers are heavy and all pool openings are a 2 person job. You can’t empty a pool on Ontario unless you want it to pop out of the ground. Water bag covers at minimum should be pumped off. Once you open the pool you need access to chemials. I think therefore, they are essential.

    2. Thank you who ever you are . I work for a pool company. They want me to start on the 13th. Not saying names so I don’t get fired. They want me to sit in a van right beside another worker various times of the day. I live with my 81 year old grandmother. I feel I have to quit my job for everyone’s safety.

  5. I guess that anonymous comment about mosquitoes person forgets what happened with the sars outbreak.
    Clean water is key.
    People don’t have to work if they don’t feel safe and company’s are putting proper isolation rules in place for everyone’s safety.
    Gotta think of the bigger, long term picture here. People are going to open their pools regardless if they are forced to stay home! Easy to say “don’t swim” lol damn.
    We gotta be able to keep them clean.

    1. There are a lot of things wrong here.

      1. There is no evidence to suggest that any coronavirus can be spread through mosquito bite, I have no idea what you’re talking about in relation to SARS.
      2. Kill mosquito larvae with regular shock treatments if it scares you that much. You don’t need a pool company to do that for you, it’s as simple as it gets.
      3. A pool company is a unique position to threaten a person’s job if they refuse to return to work.
      4. Let people open their pools. Give it a shot. This has nothing to do with whether the service companies are essential. If you can do it yourself, this literally means the company is not necessary. I don’t know how this helps your case.
      5. Yeah. Don’t swim. If you can’t maintain your pool yourself and it gets dirty, don’t swim. If your pool is allowed to become a cesspool of bacteria and you decide to swim in it anyway then how is that not solely your responsibility?

  6. Hot tubs are year round and gotta stay clean. Any responsible pool and hot tub company has altered their business to only do essential services. Sorry the company your family works at is making everyone else look bad.

    1. No service to do with pools and spas are essential, because neither pools nor spas themselves are essential. They can be drained, shut down, and left dormant if the owner doesn’t want to take care of them themselves.

  7. I don’t think Anonymous realizes how many points are being made to support the need for chemical availability.
    I guess blasting off on an article comment chain is making them feel better though. So that’s good at least. Hope everything works out for you and your family during this time Anon! Crappy that your fam works for what seems to be a horrible company. You should call them out here! What pool company is being so horrible? You should put them on blast here.

    1. Walmart sells the basics, which is an essential business. Failing that, go to *any* grocery store and get jugs of bleach to regularly disinfect the water.
      Not gonna say pool companies should exist, but to say they are *essential* and must stay open during a pandemic on an unprecedented scale monumentally dishonest.

      1. That’s because you know nothing about the industry obviously. Arm chair Pool Operator. Don’t apply for a job at the YMCA. walmart sells schitt. Chlorine or bleach is fine but only half your battle. Leave the thing closed is best option and have a smelly swamp behind your beautiful home.

  8. It’s unrealistic to say that people can just shut down the pools and drain them.

    1) not all pools can be drained completely- leaving the open bodies of water that have already been mentioned and pose a threat to public health. Fibreglass pools at this time of the year cannot be drained because they will pop out of the ground due to ground water
    2) say you didn’t care if the pool popped out. You would need A POOL COMPANY to come assist you because if not properly done- all warranties are void and null and you’ve destroyed a significant investment
    3) insurance does not cover damage to that pool in that instance or many instances you’ve suggested
    4) if the fibreglass pool is not on a high water table- you need a pool company to come in and brace it so that it doesn’t cave in.
    5) hot tubs could be drained! However you run the risk of leaving minimal amounts of water in the lines- which will sit, heat up and grow bacteria. The only way to properly drain is to disconnect electricity and flip it on its side. Once again- we need a pool and spa professional
    6) vinyl pools: draining a vinyl pool exposes the liner to the sun causing it to dry out, shrink or tear. Again, if there is a high water table or ground water? Your liner will “float”
    Damaging the investment.

    Regardless of the type of pool- it is never safe to have a big, empty hole in your backyard.

    You spoke about privilege and it sounds like you are coming from a privileged point. You want your family to stop working and the company is not allowing them? That isn’t right. But why should pool and spa owners lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, wreak havoc in their yards, create health risks for their families and more? We are all in this together and families are staying home. Why shouldn’t they at least have their pool to retreat to?

    Your family needs to stand up to their employer. The law is they don’t work if they don’t feel safe. This isn’t an industry thing/ it’s a bad company thing. We are doing our part to only provide essential services to ensure the families taking home have safe water. We can’t expect people not to use their pools and hot tubs. We just want to keep everyone safe

    1. Closed pools can be kept close. I realize groundwater can damage the pool when it’s cold but this is not the case once it got warm. I’m not saying to not care if the pool pops out. It doesn’t need to be opened and serviced to prevent that.
      Most of your points are hinging on the pool being drained when the groundwater is still frozen. This is almost a strawman of what I was trying to say.
      Not having your pool in operation for not even a full season is not only possible, but not difficult, and does not “wreak havoc” on their yards. Plenty of people do it for various reasons, you can do it to keep more people isolated.
      Please don’t even try to say I’m coming from a privileged position. You’re talking about people who own houses and their own personal bodies of water, and somehow it’s some great tragedy for them not to be able to use it for a bit. Spare me.

      1. Actually draining a pool in Arizona when it’s too hot can cause damage to a pools surface. Cracking and breaking plaster pools especially. I work for a pool chemical retail store and we’re considered “essential” in Arizona. I don’t see us as essential since chemicals can be purchased online or in stores like Walmart which ARE essential…but draining pools isn’t the alternative to keeping them open and sanitized.

    2. I like how your family having a hole in their yard is more important than the employees that will have to come to your home to do what you apparently cannot. If you cannot do basic things to your pool then you shouldn’t have one. How is your pool essential at all? Not everyone has one. And I will not die without one. But to expose someone else to your hole in the ground is of your own selfish need. You should be ashamed of yourself!

  9. I am with Pool guy.
    We are pushing our openings out and put a tone of measures in place to battle covid, if my employee doesn’t feel safe? They don’t have to work. Our council has been sending out tips to help us adhere to distancing at work etc. We aren’t running as usual at all.
    I’d like to know what dick head company is trying to make us look bad to be honest. Everyone I know is only running essential chemical or service duties.

    1. Can I ask where you’re from?
      I know a few that are in full operation and coercing their employees to return to work, and their using the government’s vague wording on essential businesses to justify it. To give a business leeway by calling them an essential service when they simply aren’t gives them the forum to treat people like this.

      1. We are in Hamilton.
        We actually just got an email today from the council saying to push out openings as far as we can to ensure We comply with the isolation related to COVID.
        The companies you’re referring to don’t represent our industry.
        You’re missing the point that people are going to open their pools cause their bored- we need to be able to help them so that things remain healthy. Why don’t you tell us all what companies are exploiting this? Don’t protect them if you’re that mad at them. Most of us actually care about water safety in this.

      2. Anon3
        Clearly you’re posting on here just to rant and get attention.
        If you want any credibility then do one simple thing that has been asked multiple times.
        Name the company that you’re angry with!
        If you can’t do that then you’re just blowing smoke.

      3. This is very true. All the pool companies in our area are closed completely except for one. And they are operating as normal. Sending guys to already open pools as of the end of March. This company is only thinking of themselves and not of their employees.

  10. A lot of people that ignorant to the pool industry here, but also a lot of people that are most likely experienced in the pool industry.
    Myself 30 years experience, worked in every state in the northeast from Virginia/west Virginia up through Maine ( Except Rhode Island for some reason).
    You can’t leave pools closed all summer and you also can’t drain them and walk away, before I get into that;
    In the day to day operations of a pool company, there is minimal customer contact,more times than not— we show up, go in the backyard, do the job, then leave.
    As long as there isn’t a huge dog in the backyard, we don’t need to see you, if we need you we can call you.
    Moving forward this season, we are only allowing 1 employee per vehicle, on the jobsite, even in normal circumstances, we are generally at least 15 apart for the duaration.
    ** Leaving pools closed would be a disaster health wise. A significant number of pool covers out there are insufficient, don’t fit properly, holes in them, and then there are covers the hold rain water( and before you say just pump it off, go do a couple for self and let me know how simple it is).
    Once sunlight hits the water, doesn’t take much, photosynthesis begins, algaeblooms and larvae thrive. At this point it’s not “Just add a couple of gallons of bleach ( which is half strength liquid shock 6% vs % 12 active) or a few pounds of calcium hypochlorite, you are talking 10 to 20 gallons of shock just to get things manageable, which also requires proper circulation and filtration.
    Bleach/shock is not stable, therefore it is not UV ( the sun) resistant and oxidizes rapidly, so it is ineffective within a day or so. Beyond that you need a stabilized sanitizer of continous feed/generator (salt), which requires a filter system to be operating which in turn requires the water to be balanced in order to do this properly.
    Trust me, all of the above is beyond the scope of the average pool, even when you walk them through it, write instructions etc…, they don’t listen or learn, it isn’t just throw some shock in there.
    And it also isnt about being able to swim, it’s about mosquitoes really…the healthcare system is going to be stressed for a while, we can’t have West Nile virus or god knows what else outbreak ontop of this.
    ** Draining pools, utterly naive, pools will refill with rain and be neglected.
    A good amount others will collapse or pop, which creates a disaster with extreme environmental consequences from an otherwise manageable situation.
    Anyone scoffing at this, just go check out Google satellite maps from northern Virginia, eastern MD/Pa and generally the whole I95 corridor up to Maine, zoom in here and there and see how many pools are out there. They can’t be left unchecked.
    And don’t let a pool cover fool you, there is a ton of nastiness living under there,I’ve had to stick my arm into that nastiness at least 20,00 times, sometimes just to rinse off the nastiness that was on top the cover which was 20 times worse.
    Just my 2 cents…. be thankful I didnt offer dollar.
    Peace and be safe.

  11. Fuck leslies pool supplies for exploiting this loophole and putting their employees in danger while the corporate office works from home.

    1. Fick leslie pools for a number of reasons. This is just the latest.
      Turned them down 25 years ago, they are a bunch of hacks.

  12. Just realized, you guys are all in Canada…
    Yeah you guys have time … stay home for a while.
    I am in NJ for this season, and our water starts to turn in another few weeks, so we have to start next week.
    Most of what I wrote pertains to the area from Boston to D.C, — its pretty densely populated, and I always assume when a mosquito bites me, he spent the last two days biting 500 other people.
    We have had a couple of minor west Nile virus outbreaks in the past few years, so I always think about it.
    But yeah…. you guys stay home for a while, you got time.
    My company has a no customer contact policy now, which we should have done years ago ( I would have more hair, and the hair I still have would probably be less gray).
    Stay safe all, and stay home.

  13. Obviously as Thomas said; you are in Canada so there is less of a ‘need’ for Pool & Spa Maintenance Companies. We are based in Florida (USA) – which even though our state is under a strict quarantine in many ways… Our pool business is VERY busy. We have about 38 employees; about 8 of them are full time repair techs and I know we were scheduling jobs on Friday for the following Thursday & Friday (1 week away) due to us being so busy. Obviously Florida you never close a pool and if you go a week without maintenance or it running it turns green. Most of the distributors are open, one is closed out of all we deal with.

    I do worry about our tech’s who go to customers homes – but so far, very few customers have came to interact with our team so we really are abiding by the procedures of ‘social distancing’.

    I’d recommend those of you in the Pool Service Business leave a brochure telling the customers your own company policy, how your dealing with this issue. I honestly think if customers know its safe to swim (not in large groups) but because most kids in the USA are on a extended “Spring Break” and soon to be starting ‘online school’. So having a pool, you have a asset that is safe for your kids to swim in and get out that energy and have some fun as kids cooped up at home are going to go crazy. The USA CDC has issued that when Pools are maintained properly and used ‘Chlorine’ or ‘Bromine’ as a sanitizer, its safe to swim and the COVID-19 will not survive in chlorinated water. (See:

    I think if you tell your customers its ok to swim as well as ways to keep the customers and the pool techs safe (if there is a pool tech at your home, please stay indoors until he/she leaves for both of their safety). I’d also suggest that you use a little extra chlorine to ensure the pool stays safe (we all know how the use of pools by kids/adults and the organic matter they leave in pool each time, eats up the chlorine). So knowing this, you can keep the pool on the high level chlorine wise and ensure stabilizer is in the pool to ensure Chlorine will stay in the pool but DO NOT over use ‘Stabilizer/Conditioner’ as the protection it provides to the chlorine can be too much and make it where the chlorine will not kill bacteria/virus’s/etc. — I’m sure most of you know this being in the industry as well as keeping the pH at a low level makes the chlorine work much better. I don’t suggest you lower the pH but just maintain it at a good 7.4 level. Obviously, if pH is 7.4 and your going to add chlorine to the pool, which will naturally increase the pH level, then ensure you add acid to counter act that….

    When a pool is used, its more valued and so is your service. If everyone stays inside for the 10 minutes your tech is there for service or hour or so when the repair tech is there; then you can run a ‘safe’ pool business. I understand customers love to be nosy during a pool repair, leak repair and some of our other services. We have requested that if they need to talk to our tech’s; call our office and we will give out their cell number in which you can FaceTime, skype or just phone/text information.

    These are just my ideas and suggestions. Obviously every area is different, every Country is different, every business is different – so I hope you can use some ideas and adapt to work with your organization. If not, I think you can click my name and it will email me. I’m happy to help – my strength is more in the business and technology aspect to the business. I’ve owned over 20 pool companies from stores, ecommerce, service, repair, etc.

  14. Does anyone know if pool construction is haled in CA? I just had the white stuff put in and they walked away. No protection, my kids and i could just trip and fall in. What is their responsibility? I am not worried as much as about finishing, but i have standing water in it and no protection around it. Where would i find the official word on this?

  15. I’ve been doing pools 25 years now and I see BOTH sides of the argument here to be honest. But in Ontario there is no way in hell they can consider pools and Spas essential at this point. And waiting 2 weeks or a month wouldn’t cause a massive outbreak, that is just the BIG companies who do tonnes of pools who NEED every second of sunshine in a year to get jobs done….ALL overbooked and too much money lost by waiting is the philosophy behind it, trust me! Wait a month, hopfully we can stop the spread, THEN worry about pools is the smart move in my opinion

    1. Agreed.
      I in Ontario and already started seeing messages from local pool services claiming and stating “We are considered essential services and feel free to contact us for all your pool opening and related services or curb side pick of pool supplies”. But I am definitely not getting either of my house and rental house pool opened anytime soon. Don’t want any non-essential person in and out of house or backyard.

  16. I am in Ontario. Those that paid for openings before this or even during this not knowing when it will finish should be refunded or given a free closing. Then rebook when you can open to those that won’t open themselves. Yes, many of us will look online on how to open ourselves. When our pool guys open, they never enter your house. They open. They leave. There is no interaction unless they knock on your door to ask for some. Despite chemicals, our pool is green on opening. We must treat it as it is NOT SAFE for dogs who will drink but humans will not. Well, most humans won’t drink it. LOL The point is if you are not doing openings or pushing it out a month or two, in cold climates, you have missed the window. You need to start calling your customers who paid and booked. You need to refund or put it towards a closing. No one in this day and age can afford to throw 400 bucks out the window. Many are not working and trying to figure out this COVID stuff out. I get this. But your customers can surely use the 400 for eating and open their pools themselves. Maybe they will figure out that all along they can do it themselves. That doesn’t take away from feeling for someone that doesn’t have a job at the moment due to COVID. I understand that one in a big way. Hugs to all…

  17. hello

    We have a pool up north 2 hours from here just wondering if pool openings in May will happen??

    and will the pool man come and open it for us???


  18. Hi,

    I’m a Business owner in Ontario for 23years, dealing with some customers manufacturing medical, and defense products during this difficult time. We are limited on our Work Revenue and as a result i’m waiting patiently for the politicians to align during this difficult time and release funding to critical business’ that is trying to stay above water while we wait patiently meanwhile I’m watching pool truck after pool truck drive in my area to open a pool and/or do a job possibly for cash while the CRA sits with their fingers up their backdoor. This is totally ridiculous shut them all down no need for nonsense and focus on what they can do to help the important things.

  19. Boy there are a lot of emotions running high these days. We just opened our pool by ourselves and are wondering if any small pool service centres are open in the Ottawa area for pick up or delivery of chemicals. We have enough to last a few weeks but would rather give business to a smaller chain than Walmart or Homedepot.

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