New app provides aquatic industry with resource for online management tools
By Keith Loria
A new app created by the National Swimming Pool Foundation and Counsilman-Hunsaker can assist commercial pool operators with staying on track with records and maintenance issues.
Called Facility Manager, the app provides the aquatic industry with a digital, web-based application designed to enhance the safety and sustainability of aquatic facilities. Facility Manager is accessible via computer and mobile device, allowing facilities to go paperless on all aspects of operational documentation, such as checklists, water balancing and incident reporting.
“With an increase in risk and exposure that many facilities are facing, proper documentation is a key to any risk-management plan,” says Kevin Post, principal and studio director of Counsilman-Hunsaker. “Historical methods of paper documentation have inherent flaws, including illegible handwriting, missing pages, water damage, fire and floods, etcetera. With the modern ability to have inexpensive cloud storage with daily back-ups, information is more acceptable, usable and safe.”
Michelle Kavanaugh, NSPF’s mission development director, says the genesis of the app came from the idea of being able to take any piece of paper documentation found around a pool and offering a digital solution instead.
“The main features include personalized checklist (opening, closing, daily and weekly maintenance, slide inspections, etc.), pool-test records for water chemistry and water balance, in-service records, pool closure forms and incident/injury forms,” she says. “Once the data is entered in the program, reports can be run to analyze and troubleshoot potential issues.”
Facility Manager is based on the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and NSPF’s Pool & Spa Operator Handbook to ensure code compliance.
Alandra Mothorpe, project manager for Counsilman-Hunsaker, says commercial pool operators should use a digital solution to help protect them in the event of an incident.
“They can save time and money with the ease of access to the data,” she says. “Many operators spend hours or even days compiling the results of their documentation. Using a digital solution like Facility Manager gives easy and immediate access to all of their data.”
The app is also customizable to ensure all reports are completed correctly by a company’s staff, and generates alerts to keep facility managers aware of time-sensitive issues such as pool closure.
“Service companies can benefit from actually using the program themselves and allowing their clients to access the reports once completed,” Post says. “This can help prove that services and checklists were performed and allows the service company an easy dashboard for all the clients they manage.”
The app also facilitates collaboration so multiple people from the same facility can log on and input information.
“Facility Manager has various levels of access from view-only to full administration rights, and is completely customizable in this area,” Kavanaugh says. “From lifeguards and service techs to managers and directors, everyone can use the program and share information.”
Facility Manager also generates email alerts to keep people informed when a pool is closed or a maintenance item needs to be addressed. This allows a service company to use the program to better manage their service, and allow clients to log in to view the results of the services provided.
The Facility Manager app is purchased at an annual license. The program costs $995 per year for a standard pool. Additional charges apply for larger facilities, but discounts are available for multiple facilities purchased.
While the program has been used for years in Australia and New Zealand, it is new to the United States, and companies are just starting to see its benefits.
Jananne Risenhoover, general manager of Pelican Bay in Edmond, Oklahoma, was one of the facilities selected as a pilot for the app last summer. She says the Facility Manager app helped her keep everything organized in one place.
“It helps my team to communicate with me when I am away from the venue,” Risenhoover says. “Before this program we were just using a lot of paper. I would recommend it because it keeps you and your team accountable, and keeps you organized. It holds all your paperwork in one place and easy to find anywhere you are located. I also like the different levels you can place on different team members to see and do on certain reports.”