Pool and Pond Safety [March 2022 Community Associations Journal]
Pool and Pond Safety Standards
Find pond and lake management professionals in the WSCAI Business Directory.
Is our community pond safe for swimming?
How can we tell? The best approach for validating safe water is periodic water quality analysis. Professional water quality consultants can identify problematic conditions, such as poor dissolved oxygen levels or imbalanced pH, and help determine the best management strategy to make pools and ponds safe for recreational use. There are also some visual ways to determine if a pond is safe for swimming.
The best approach for validating safe water quality is periodic water analysis. Ongoing water quality testing can reveal a wealth of information, including problematic ecological changes. Early identification allows professionals to intervene before imbalances get out of hand.
Is recreation safe in deep water?
Deep water can be beneficial in lakes and ponds. In fact, deeper water is usually desirable. Greater depths are associated with fewer flooding events, more abundant fish and wildlife, and, in some cases, fewer algae and odor problems.
How can residents enjoy waterbodies safely?
Installing docks and gazebos around the water is an excellent way to encourage residents to safely enjoy fishing, feeding ducks, and nature watching. It’s also beneficial to establish clear, durable paths to the water to prevent residents from venturing into unsafe areas.
This can be accomplished naturally by planting beneficial plants like blueflag iris, cardinal flower, and native sedges and rushes. Allowing them to grow at least 18 in. high and 3-5 ft. from the shoreline will create a visually-appealing buffer while preventing sediment, trash, and pollutants from flowing into the water during rainstorms. And if shoreline sediment has eroded significantly, professional bioengineering solutions may be required to restore stability and aesthetics. The waterbody shoreline is a significant element in pool and pond safety.
Pool and Pond Safety Education
This should go hand-in-hand with education about water safety. Knowledgeable residents are able to make more informed decisions and be more vigilant when spending time around lakes, ponds, and pools with their families. It’s essential for communities to post proper signage around water resources.
Likewise, it’s important to wear life jackets, use sunscreen, avoid diving and running near the water, refrain from swimming past dusk, and make sure a lifeguard or chaperone is always present. More pool and pond safety tips can be found at www.safekids.org.
Consistency is Key for Pool and Pond Safety
While good judgment and observation can offer a lot of information, responsible maintenance will make the biggest difference. Water management is most impactful and cost-effective when conducted on a consistent basis.
Trent is an Aquatic Specialist at SOLitude Lake Management. He focuses on helping property managers and communities maintain healthy, balanced aquatic ecosystems and enjoys educating them on the importance of sustainable freshwater management. Trent has spent more than a dozen years working closely with homeowner’s associations, golf courses, and municipalities.