Pool Podcast : Commercial Pool Service in West Palm Beach and Commercial Pool Safety


Episode Three: Welcome to our podcast. In this episode, Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches’ Holly Colasurdo and their webmaster, Elizabeth Varian, discuss commercial weekly pool service in West Palm Beach, Florida and commercial pool safety.

Commercial Pool Service in West Palm Beach

Hotels, communities, and state/city park pools are all types of commercial pools.  They are used more often than a residential pool and require more frequent cleaning.  Heated pools create a need to be balanced and cleaned, too. Did you know there were some law changes happening with commercial pool inspection in Florida? Holly explains this upcoming change.  To sign the petition, please visit: http://www.keepsafepools.com

Commercial Pool Safety

Holly discusses various tips for commercial pool owners to keep their visitors safe and for pool goers to keep themselves safe.

Listen now by clicking the image above and return next month for the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches Pool Podcast.

Episode Three: Welcome to our podcast. In this episode, Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches’ Holly Colasurdo and their webmaster, Elizabeth Varian, discuss commercial weekly pool service in West Palm Beach, Florida and commercial pool safety.

Episode Three of the third podcast discusses commercial weekly pool service in West Palm Beach, Florida and commercial pool safety.


Introduction: Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches online podcast with your hosts Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.

Elizabeth Varian: Hey, everybody, welcome back to this month’s podcast with Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches. Elizabeth here and of course I have my Pool Doctor guru on the other end here, Holly, say hi to everybody.

Holly Colasurdo: Hello. Good morning everyone.

Elizabeth Varian: We need a little bit more coffee in us. We’re a little slow.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh jeez.

Elizabeth Varian: Maybe we should go take a dip in a cold pool. I think that would wake us up quite quickly don’t you think?

Holly Colasurdo: Yes. Because summer’s coming and everybody’s going to be enjoying their pool.

Elizabeth Varian: Yay! We want them enjoying their pools, that’s for certain. We’ve been talking the past few weeks about residential pools and pool safety for kids and the snow birds heading back home. I’d like to shift gears if it’s okay with you and talk about an area in the pool cleaning business that a lot of people don’t discuss and that’s the commercial pools.

Holly Colasurdo: Right.

Elizabeth Varian: There’s so many different types of commercial pools out there, what are the kinds that you deal with down here in South Florida a lot?

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, right, especially in Florida. You have your typical gated community pool which just the people in the community are pretty much using, you have your hotels and motel pools which people just come from all over to use, your gated communities, your high rises, those are all considered commercial pools. Even the state pools at the parks, those are commercial pools. Your YMCA and things like that, those are considered commercial pools. So there are a lot of them here in South Florida.

Elizabeth Varian: When you have a commercial pool, these owners, since there are various types, is there any special licensing that they require?

Holly Colasurdo: Yes. You have to have a pool service industry license in order to clean a commercial pool. You have to definitely have your license and they’re very well aware of that.

Elizabeth Varian: So if there’s someone who has just gotten a pool installed, they hadn’t had one before, say an HOA community, then it’s in their smart business sense to choose someone that’s licensed because we know there’s a lot of unlicensed pool cleaners out there.

Holly Colasurdo: Sure, well there always is because you’re having so many different people in the pool and coming from wherever, it’s not your own personal pool and it gets a lot of usage and that’s what the difference is as far as cleaning weekly. Smaller commercial pools maybe are getting cleaned twice a week and larger commercial pools are getting cleaned sometimes three times a week.

Elizabeth Varian: What is the difference between the two? You know, with the commercial you have the once a week cleaning and sometimes a little bit more, but you and your kids, it’s just the family typically jumping in, and maybe some friends in the neighborhood.

Holly Colasurdo: Typically with a commercial pool compared to a residential pool you’ll definitely do the same cleaning technique. You brush your tile, you vacuum, the commercial pools take a lot more time, they’re larger. Especially the larger ones need more chemicals because it holds more water, so that’s a big difference. The filtration system has to be different on a commercial because it gets a lot of usage so you want to make sure it’s got an amazing filter system. Some communities, some of the older communities with 50+ – they like their pools heated.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh yes, I do. I’m not 50+ but count me in.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Me, I’d just as soon have it ice cold because it’s like taking a bath when I get into some of those warm ones and especially with the warm ones, you’ve got to make sure the chemicals are balanced because the heat produces a lot more algae faster. So you have to just always constantly balance that pool which is really the most important thing I think when it comes to a pool.

Elizabeth Varian: That’s a good point to recognize, I don’t even think about it. I like my heated pools, and my shower it’s got to be heated before I get in. But as a consumer I don’t think, “Oh, well I like heated pools, but oh that algae might grow a little more,” so you’re going to have to have the usage of it and the size of it you’re going to have to have the cleaning more often.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Which leads well to a commercial pool if it’s a new commercial account, or before we have the account, we measure the pool, we have to know the size of the pool in order to know how to charge the client accordingly and depending on what type of service they want. Do they want it twice a week, three times a week? It just depends. Of course if anything ever happens, they call us, we’re out there right away. That’s the difference between commercial and residential.

Elizabeth Varian: I’m assuming a commercial pool owner, they too have inspections.

Holly Colasurdo: They do.

Elizabeth Varian: What kind of inspections and what do they have to know to be able to pass those inspections?

Holly Colasurdo: Normally it’s your health department of that town that goes out and there’s a minimum twice a year inspections. They go out, they have a list of things they have go by, the one biggie is the license needs to be visible, it’d be normally out by the equipment. If the water is off, they’ll shut that commercial pool right down, when there’s a broken gate the pool gets closed right down. The water chemistry is very important.

Elizabeth Varian: What do you mean by water chemistry? Making sure there’s not too much chemicals, a balance of some sort?

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, you do. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, I’ve noticed myself that growing up as a child some pools, especially at hotels, if I would swim and it just had the strongest chlorine smell and when I was young I thought that was important. I thought, “Ooh it’s chlorine, it’s clean.”

Elizabeth Varian: It’s clean.

Holly Colasurdo: And that’s just the opposite. If there is ever a chemical smell it is absolutely filthy. So you have to be very careful, if a pool’s properly balanced you’re not going to have a chemical smell. Again, a lot of people don’t realize that. Because that’s a big deal. That’s important. Make sure there’s no smell.

Elizabeth Varian: With the inspections, I think before the podcast you and I were talking about that there are some changes coming about.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. What’s happening in the industry, the Florida Swimming and Pool Association is trying to reinstate the department of health. They’re changing the law, the legislatures believe that these inspections aren’t necessary which makes it hard for the health department which used to go out and inspect to make sure the gates are not broken, make sure there’s a hook in case someone needs help to get out of the pool. Now they’re able to go out and make sure the chemicals are balanced and that’s hurting the commercial industry and it can be very dangerous to children and people. We’re trying to get that word out that it’s critical to put that back in the hands of every town department of health can’t come and inspect your commercial pool and you’re leaving it up to the state because there’s no funding. there’s no one to go and inspect that commercial pool. My foresight is there’s going to be a lot of commercial pools that are going to be closed because the inspections aren’t going to be there. No one is going to be there to do the inspections.

Elizabeth Varian: It sounds like a disservice to the public. We expect to know that if I’m jumping in a pool that it’s safe for me to do so. Especially because you’re dealing with chemicals and a lot of times children, so I would think it would be a priority to keep the health inspections for the commercial pool owner.

Holly Colasurdo: It’s a dire safety concern. We have 19.5 million citizens and 100 million tourists who come to Florida and they utilize our 37,000+ public pools and spa facilities here. Per the department of health, there could be 127,000 violations in a year with only 75,000 inspections being done, that’s a violation under building code. 12% of inspections close the pool temporarily.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh. That’s not good for the tourists, they come for our oceans and our pools. It’s not even in this state. I just booked a hotel for my dad in another state and the first thing he said is, “Well, it has to have a pool.” I think room service and pools are top notch for hotels and if anyone’s going to move to the area and they’re moving to a gated community, having a pool is very important. Is there anywhere that people can go to sign a petition to help change this?

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, keepsafepools.com.

Elizabeth Varian: Keepsafepools.com. Okay.

Holly Colasurdo: Right, then you can go on there and sign up, they need so many signatures just so this legislation can not change. Like I said, it removes the ability of the department of health to inspect such items as fences and gates working properly, ladders in place and working order, the depth markers are visible so you know how deep it is, where you should dive or not-

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah. Very important.

Holly Colasurdo: …the GFCI protection that’s in place, that’s really important. Those are your loaders, and filters, and electrical of your pool and last but not least the drain gates that are properly covered. Those drain gates, if they’re not properly covered can cause suction and many children have died getting stuck because there was no cover for that suction in the pool. That’s a major concern. I just think it leaves the public really insecure as to what’s going on. Some of these things might not be as visible and you might think you’re safe when you’re really not. So I think it’s imperative everyone get on, that’s hopefully listening to the podcast, get on and sign that petition, we need as many signatures as we can for this legislation.

Elizabeth Varian: Okay and give that web address just one more time.

Holly Colasurdo: It’s keepsafepools.com.

Elizabeth Varian: Okay. Keepsafepools.com. So everybody who’s listening, we do a transcription of the podcast on the website, we’ll make sure that’s a hyperlink so you can just click in and I’ll make sure the second we get off this podcast I will be heading there myself. That’s definitely something to keep in mind. Just a quick shift but it’s on the same topic, and you’ve covered a few, what are some major safety tips that any commercial pool owner that’s listening or someone who’s getting ready to buy a hotel or they’re a community that’s going to install a pool. What are some safety tips that they should be aware of that they may not realize?

Holly Colasurdo: Always make sure you post your rules or regulations sign when you go into your pool. A lot of them are gated and need a gate code to enter and that’s only available if you own a home there or you own a unit in a condo or town home which is good so not everybody can get in. Always make sure you don’t have any glass. Make sure if you’re bringing something to drink it’s plastic. Keep your pools safe from any food that could fall that could possibly make you sick, no running of course, there’s no lifeguard so if you have children make sure you’re watching them, just keep your eye out. If you have chipped tile you want to either alert someone about it or if you’re the owner, the manager of the complex, make sure you call your pool company to get out there to replace that tile, fix it so nobody cuts themselves. Those are just some real obvious hazards when you’re swimming in a commercial pool.

Elizabeth Varian: I agree and one for the commercial pool owner, I think that you’ve already stated that is a very key one is making sure that gate is properly working and locking. You don’t want any kids going in, that’s so much of a legal and dangerous hazard that can happen if you don’t have that gate working. The Pool Doctor, they’re able to fix gates for commercial owners, you’re able to give quotes when there’s broken gates and help them. Same with the tile, if there’s any problems.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh yeah. The tile, renovation, equipment, whatever a pool requires we can do.

Elizabeth Varian: You think of the pool cleaning but then you think, “Well, who’s gonna fix the tiles if they’re broken,” and that’s key. You don’t want your kids running around or your customers and visitors, or anybody cutting themselves on the tile because that tile can get pretty sharp.

Holly Colasurdo: Make sure you have your hook where if someone goes in or you need to get in to help someone, you can. Hooks are important. We don’t have a store, we don’t sell that equipment but we’d be able to refer you to somebody who does.

Elizabeth Varian: Definitely. This has been very interesting. Especially with the laws we don’t want changed, we want to keep everything safe and we always think pools, you think the residential and the back pool but you have many pool parks in South Florida, we have many HOA’s that one of the drawing points is having a pool in the HOA’s. A lot of hotels have pools, even though we have beaches the pools get used quite frequently down here.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh yes.

Elizabeth Varian: This has been very interesting to switch it up to the commercial accounts.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah and we were just made aware of that law changing recently too, so I’m glad that we got in on that. We just found that out a couple of days ago so it’s important for us to get that word out.

Elizabeth Varian: Absolutely, and again we’re going to make sure to make that a hyperlink on the site. Sounds like you guys are busy back there, I love hearing a lot of chatter; that means everybody’s busy, busy, busy. We’re now in hurricane season officially so we’ll be touching on tips with that in the coming months and we’re praying for a quiet one so we’ll see. But, Holly, as always it’s been wonderful chatting with you. I never leave this podcast having not learned something new from you. It is very interesting.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh, I’m so glad. It’s the least we can do as a pool company. We want to take care of our customers and the customers to come.

Elizabeth Varian: Absolutely and they better start coming. I can hear them in the background coming. Everybody listening, this is a monthly podcast here at Pool Doctors of the Palm Beaches, you can subscribe to the feed. Come back often and if you subscribe to the newsletter, it goes out each month. Thank you very much and Holly, thank you.

Holly Colasurdo: Thank you. See you soon.

Elizabeth Varian: Bye.

Holly Colasurdo: Bye.

Closing: Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your south Florida pool needs. Call 561-203-0270 or visit us online at www.poolspalmbeaches.com.

Florida Licensed

FL State License Pool & Spa Contractor CPC1458452

Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches
1408 North Killian Dr., Suite 103
West Palm Beach, FL 33403

Phone: (561) 203-0270
Fax: (561) 537-7151

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