By Lauren Broom Proper Maintenance of Spas to help control Legionella outbreaks for
The safe operation and regular maintenance of public spas or hot tubs are important to protect swimmers from possible exposure to Legionella. Legionella bacteria can cause two different illnesses. Legionnaire’s Disease is a severe type of pneumonia caused by bacteria infecting deep into the lungs. Pontiac Fever is the less severe form of illness caused by the same Legionella bacteria.
People can become sick when they breathe in aerosolized water droplets or accidentally ingest water containing the Legionella bacteria into their lungs. Public spas and hot tubs can become a public health hazard if a pool tech maintains a casual attitude regarding the regular maintenance of the facility.
Pool pros should operate and maintain public spas and hot tubs with the following guidelines in mind:
• Pool pro should treat all public spas and hot tubs as having the potential for Legionella growth if control measures are not taken.
• Pool pro should monitor and maintain proper disinfectant residuals, even when not in use. Recommended range: Free chlorine: 3–10 ppm
• Pool pro should monitor and maintain proper pH levels, even when not in use.
• Pool pro should follow all filter manufacturer recommendations for cleaning, replacement, and all other maintenance requirements.
• Pool pro should follow all requirements of the local health authority that has jurisdiction. Areas without local regulations can use CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code.
• Pool pro should monitor and maintain a chlorine or bromine disinfectant residual
Lauren Broom is a Certified Pool Operator Course, CPO
, instructor and a former health inspector for the Florida Department of Health. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and is a registered sanitarian.
She has 16-years of experience in commercial pool inspections and waterborne disease outbreak investigations.
Lauren lives in Palm Bay, Florida with her husband of 17 years and their 3 children.
Lauren can be reached at email@example.com
Lauren Broom and pH according to meeting local health agency requirements.
• Pool pro should test disinfectant residual and pH at least twice per day.
It is recommended that during times of heavy bather use, these levels are checked hourly.
Readings should be recorded on a daily chemical log.
• Pool pro should backwash sand and diatomaceous earth filters routinely per filter manufacturer recommendations.
• Pool pro should replace cartridge filter elements regularly per filter manufacturer recommendations.
• Pool pro should ensure that there is steady water flow across the filter 24 hours per day.
• Spa rules sign should state the maximum bather load and rules for appropriate use.
• Pool pro should remove the spa or hot tub from service daily to carry out disinfection with a higher-thannormal disinfectant residual. Free residual of 10 ppm for at least one to four hours is commonly used.
• Pool pro shall drain spa/hot tub per recommended equation: Water replacement frequency in days = Spa volume in gallons ÷ 3 ÷ Average users per day. Pool pro shall scrub and clean the spa/hot tub each time it is drained.
Include all holding tanks in the procedure.
• Pool pro shall be properly trained as a pool operator.
• Pool pro shall maintain chemical logs and operating records for spas/ hot tubs.
• It is recommended that the pool pro review log and records to see if there are any trends for the disinfectant residuals or pH levels to indicate specific maintenance that needs to occur.