If you’re like most people, January is a time
to pause, look at your life and ask, “What can I
do to improve this year?” So that got me to
thinking about good resolutions for the aquatics industry
to take on in 2010. If you have some thoughts on the topic,
I hope you’ll share them on our AI Connect forum,
titled “Industry Resolutions.” For now,
here’s a short list I came up with:
1. I will be more confident. This seems
to be a deep-seated problem in the industry, and it has
far-reaching effects. From getting shut out of stimulus
money to being the first on the chopping block when it
comes to budgets cuts, aquatics gets no respect.
For that, we have no one to blame but
The best way to sum it up is to relay a conversation
from a recent trade show. The individual said we offer the
public something very few others can: wellness, family
togetherness, lifetime memories and community. Not to
mention a lifetime skill that may one day save their lives.
If we really take pride in ourselves and sell our
facilities that way, nothing can stop us.
2. I will value myself more. Aquatics
professionals must get away from the idea that they are
charities and start acting like valuable assets.
This means rethinking what you charge for everything
from daily passes to swim lessons. If you tell the public
you’re only worth $2 a day, that’s how
they’ll treat you. Yes, it’s important
for aquatics to serve the public, including the
disadvantaged. But no one will be served if your facility
can’t make enough to survive.
What aquatics facilities offer is too valuable to lose,
and your public will agree if given the chance.
3. I will do the easy things first.
This is sort of a catch-all for a lot of things. For
example, many professionals tell me that
they’re having trouble with operating expenses.
Yet these same operators haven’t invested in one
of the simplest, cost-saving measures available: pool
The same goes for UV disinfection in the fight against
RWIs. Yes, UV is a great supplemental sanitizer, but
it’s nothing without proper water balance and
equipment operations. Many outbreaks start with something
really simple going wrong. Even the best UV system
won’t protect against RWIs if the basics
aren’t covered first. This is a micro-example of a
macro-truism for aquatics: Do the easy things first or face
hard consequences later.
4. I’ll get the education I
need. Running an aquatics facility is a
complicated job. There’s chemistry, customer
service, staffing, repair — not to mention the
need for a whole lot of creativity. Fortunately, plenty of
education is out there, including this publication and
online offerings such as our Reinventing Aquatics
But none of it does any good unless you use it. Every
operator needs to know about things such as CYA, TDS and
DBPs. They need to be trained on how to properly run and
service equipment. And every operator should be certified
in one of the many operator training programs available.
They also should make sure staffers get the best,
most-up-to-date training possible. Finally, everyone
responsible for water quality management, from lifeguards
to managers, should be certified operators.