True, we're only just a few days into the New Year, but it's not too early to be planning for the upcoming swim season. Here are three essential tasks that every aquatics facility manager should start now to ensure a smooth summer.

1 Reach out to re-hires. It may seem early, but this is the month managers need to start thinking about staffing for the high season. Send letters to all previous summer employees whom you want back. Make sure the letters remind them of application deadlines, says Janel Twehous, recreation supervisor of aquatics and special events for Columbia, Mo.

2 Assess maintenance needs. Take a look at your facilities and see what’s happened to them in the off season, advises Adam Peper, aquatic manager for The Pointe at Ballwin Commons in Ballwin, Mo. Are you in need of any major rebuilds? Do the slides need resurfacing? What about the slide tower — is that still sound? This is the time to take stock and start going out for bids on capital projects, he says.

3 Prepare for the season. It’s time to start thinking about opening up seasonal pools. Alexa Pritchard, recreation superintendent for city of Roseville, Calif. Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department, meets weekly with her maintenance staff to develop a timeline and make sure they’re on schedule. “January is a month where if you’re not ahead right now, summer’s going to hit you hard,” she warns.