The PoolWaterTS team has a wealth of knowledge gained from years of hands on work in Sports and Leisure centres, running and managing swimming pools, and has developed this product using those experiences and a geeky love of spreadsheets to solve a common problem related to the process of recording and reporting pool test results.
The swimming pool industry is still underdeveloped in terms of pool test results management and tracking with results generally still recorded only on paper leaving little or no scope for analysing the data to check for inconsistencies, errors or problems.
The people that do pool water testing are generally knowledgeable and accurate in their processes, but there is a need for experience or working out to be done for some to be able to spot inconsistencies or problems, such as recognising high combined chlorine readings. The demands of a centre's programmes can also encourage rushed tests reducing the attention given to the status of the results or can delay the passing on of necessary information to managers.
The concept for this product came from the need to track and problem solve pool test results spotting potential issues before they developed and helping to educate and inform staff at all levels.
The prototype was a spreadsheet with complex formulas used by staff at a Dorset sports centre on a daily basis for pool water test data input and results analysis.
This prototype was in use from Jan 2018 to May 2020 prior to their move to the PoolWaterTS system as it is now.
Development of an online management console for entering and viewing test results, and other site/user defined data, would assist in increasing the potential for pool water quality improvements and consistency, or at the least a greater awareness of how a pool if performing against recommended standards.
Additionally, through an open hand approach to data collection and analysis within a company and the industry as a whole, it is hoped that conformity to guidelines and standards would be improved by offering the ability to compare the performance of a sites pool to the average of other anonymous pools within the same county, country or by the type of facility. It is also planned that this anonymous information (Unless directed otherwise by the site/company) be shared with PWTAG and ISPE for development of standards and practices.
Daniel Ekema has worked in and around pools since 1996, starting as a Sports Centre Assistant & lifeguard to becoming a Sports Centre Manager from 2008-2022 and now working as the Programme Leader for Pool Plant at the Institute of Swimming|Swim England. Throughout this time developing a wealth of hands on experience and knowledge ranging from standard pool water tests for chlorine, pH and water balance, to operating and maintaining pool plant with a responsibility to problem solve and correct pool plant and pool water issues. And a bit of experience in assisting with major pool plant works and maintenance just for good measure..
This hands on work in Sports and Leisure centres, running and managing swimming pools, has been the main driver for developing the PoolWaterTS product using those experiences and a geeky love of spreadsheets to solve a common problem related to the process of recording and reporting pool test results.
"As a Manager I found that all too often staff were doing pool tests but they didn't recognise when things were going wrong or when it was wrong they didn't remember what to do or where to find the information.. Occasionally this was because they were not passionate about what they were doing so didn't spend the time to check correctly, but most of the time it was because they just weren't able to understand or visualise the data to recognise the trends or patterns.
This led to me creating a concept/prototype of the product in a spreadsheet using formulas to validate the data being entered highlighting what was going on compared to the previous results. This also showed the test results in a graph so that visual learners could see what was happening and act on it, for example if the pH was progressively increasing above the setpoint with no sign of decline.
This prototype was in use at a school in North Dorset since January 2018 until they transferred to the New PoolWaterTS system in June 2020. It has made a big difference to the daily operation of the pool and plant room but also from the viewpoint of a Manager being able to do spot checks to ensure that all is well or to assist remote problem solving of results." - Daniel Ekema - Nov 2020