Why Hire A CPO Certified Pool Service or Spa Maintenance Professional?
The purpose of the Certified Pool Operator and Spa Maintenance program is to provide pool and spa professional with the knowledge and skills to properly maintain your pool or spa ensuring swimmer safety and preventing costly equipment malfunctions. While the state of California and Marin County do not require pool service or spa maintenance professionals to be CPO certified, the certification provided by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (formerly the National Swimming Pool Foundation) is the world’s leading verifiable pool and spa training credential.
The CPO Certification is recognized nationally and internationally and gives the pool service technician a better understanding of proper pool maintenance and spa care. This prevents unnecessary risk for swimmers and bathers that can occur when a pool or spa’s water is out of balance or not sufficiently sanitized to prevent harmful bacteria and algae. The 2 day course required to become CPO certified provides the pool service or spa maintenance technician with the latest information available to provide industry leading service to your pool or hot tub. Upon completion of the 2 day course, each individual is required to pass a test to receive their CPO certification. Because pool maintenance and spa care standards are constantly evolving, the CPO certification must be renewed every 5 years.
Topics Your Pool Service or Spa Maintenance Professional Should Know
Topics covered in the CPO certification course include water chemistry which provides the pool service or spa maintenance professional with the skills necessary to ensure the pH is balanced, the sanitizer level is sufficient, and things like alkalinity are within the proper ranges. This helps improve not only bather comfort but prevents the formation of dangerous bacteria and harmful conditions like scaling or etching of the pool’s surface. As a pool or spa owner, you’ll want your service technician to have the knowledge necessary to increase the lifetime of your pool or spa and protect the investment you have made.
Another topic covered by the CPO certification course is facility safety. There are inherent risks involved with swimming pools and spas or hot tubs beyond just those specific to water chemistry. As an example, drains and other suction devices that make up part of the pool or spa’s water circulation system can provide entrapment hazards. Entrapment can occur when a bather or swimmer gets stuck to a suction device because of the vacuum pressure it creates.
While this can seem insignificant in some cases it can cause drowning when someone gets stuck underwater or even evisceration where someone’s bowels (usually small children) are pulled out of their body when they sit on top of a suction device. One rule of thumb that all CPO certified pool service or spa maintenance professionals are taught is that if the water is too cloudy to see the main drain, then the pool or spa is not safe to swim in because someone may go unseen when trapped on the bottom.
Understanding Entrapment for Pool Service or Spa Maintenance
On the subject of entrapment, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is covered in great detail in the CPO Certification course. This law is named after Graeme Baker who died in a swimming accident in 2002 when she was trapped underwater by the suction of a spa drain. The history of swimming pool and spa accidental deaths caused by entrapment has been tracked since the 1970’s by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. What they determined was that the vast majority of drowning related to entrapment in swimming pools or spas was happening to children. So the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety Act was passed to reduce the number of child drowning, reduce deaths in pools and spas caused by entrapment, and increase public awareness about the inherent risks associated with swimming pools and spas. The job of a CPO certified pool service or spa maintenance professional is to be aware of these risks and reduce them within their own sphere of influence.
The CPO Certification is the standard for all pool service and spa maintenance technicians to achieve. While it is not required in California or Marin County, it should be expected for each pool or spa operator to seek and maintain this certification. This will ensure they are upholding the latest safety and health standards when it comes to pool service or spa maintenance.