Simple Checks to Maintain Water Quality

Top ten tips for maintaining your pool during COVID-19 lockdown

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, your pool may not have been in normal operation, but lockdown will not last forever. When the time comes to reopen to the public you will need to ensure your pool is ready to go. This means making sure your pool water is compliant with current PWTAG guidelines on water quality and complying with the latest Technical Notes 43 and 44.

For pools there were two basic options when you closed to the public, either leaving the water treatment system running at a reduced flow or super-chlorinating the water before shutting down the circulation system. Commercial spas, on the other hand, will probably have been emptied and cleaned prior to closing down for the lockdown period. As we all know, recommissioning a plant that has been mothballed can be problematic. Valves and pumps that haven’t been operated for a long period may be reluctant to re-start when you need them, and stagnant water may be a source of corrosion and microbiological problems.

Whether you have been carrying out routine maintenance or not, you need to be prepared for continued closure and now is the time to inspect your plant. Ensure that your annual service visits by your pool maintenance contractor are in place and carry out some simple checks to ensure a trouble-free return to business. Here are our top ten tips for maintaining your pool and the quality of water:


  1. Clean the pump strainer basket and run the circulating pumps at the designed flow rate to check that the pool flow and filter pressures are correct. The flow should be ramped up slowly so that you don’t flush suspended dirt out of the filter into the pool.
  2. Check to see if the bottom and the sides of the pool are clean, vacuum and brush as required.
  3. Back wash the filters regularly in accordance with the operating and maintenance manual.
  4. Check your stock of chemicals and that they are still within their shelf life.
  5. Flush the chemical dosing pumps and make sure that there are no deposits in the chemical lines. 
  6. Clean all automatic controller sensors and recalibrate if required.
  7. Check that the secondary disinfection (UV or ozone), if you have it, is in good condition and ready to be turned back on when required.
  8. Clean and disinfect scum channels, overflow channels, grating and pool surrounds in accordance with PWTAG Technical Note 44.
  9. Check the condition of the pool water and air heating systems and that they are ready to be turned back on when required.
  10. Test the circulating water for the main parameters of water quality:
  • Free chlorine
  • Total chlorine
  • pH
  • Calcium hardness
  • Total alkalinity
  • Cyanuric acid (outdoor pools only)
  • Clarity
  • TDS

If you can tick all those boxes, your water treatment system will be in pretty good shape for a return to service and you’ll be able to welcome bathers back after the confines of the lockdown: something we can all look forward to.


PWTAG Technical Notes can be accessed using the following links

  Guidance on temporary closure during coronavirus emergency (Technical Note 43)

  Disinfecting Covid-19 (Technical Note 44)


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