Whether you need a pool safety barrier or not will depend on the size of your land and when the pool was installed. The laws and regulations surrounding pool safety in the Northern Territory are subject to change so always check the NT.gov.au site for the most up-to-date requirements.
Regardless of current regulations for pool safety, there are several steps you can take to keep your family and visitors safe. Pool barriers are recommended in any case as they provide a valuable safety measure for children under the age of five. These barriers are designed to prevent young children from accessing the pool area unsupervised.
Pool maintenance also has a large part to play in pool safety. A clean pool may look and feel better to swim in but maintenance is about more than aesthetics. You can use a hand vacuum that attaches to a skimmer box, allowing you to clean a pool manually. However, mechanical cleaners can reduce your labour for an additional investment. The most expensive option of all, pressure cleaners are designed for ease of use and typically recommended for larger pools. Alternatively, you can hire someone to professionally clean your pool when needed or according to a schedule.
Bacteria are quick to breed in an untreated pool. To avoid visitors to the pool coming down with potentially serious health issues, regularly adding chlorine to the water is the most common treatment. You can purchase chlorine for pool treatment in granular, liquid or tablet form. You can’t dose granular chlorine manually, although it’s relatively cheap to buy and easy to store. If you are thinking about using liquid chlorine, you will not find it as simple to store but it does dose automatically. Chlorine tablets can be added to the water manually and are user friendly. The most widely used option in the Northern Territory is salt chlorination. If you have a saltwater pool, a salt chlorinator is ideal. You will need a salt chlorinator unit that is designed for use with your pool size.
Testing the Waters
You want to ensure that the water quality is now and will forever remain high. You cannot treat pool water once and forget about it for the rest of the year. There are a number of factors to consider when testing the waters, including:
You want to ensure that the pH level of your pool water is checked before use and at subsequent intervals throughout the day. The recommended pH level for your Northern Territory pool water is 7.2 to 7.6. If the pH is too low, add soda ash and then retest. If the pH is too high, use pool acid and then retest.
Total alkalinity (TA)
The TA in a pool is also an important balance to keep. You want TA levels to sit between 60 and 200 parts per million, otherwise you risk surface erosion. Sodium bicarbonate, often referred to as ‘buffer,’ will raise the TA in the pool. If TA levels are too high, pool acid is used to bring them back to acceptable levels.
80 to 500 parts per million is the magic number range when it comes to dissolved calcium in a pool. Unfortunately, you will struggle to find a pool testing kit that acts as the magic wand you need. However, most pool shops will provide a testing service that only requires you to provide a sample of the water from the pool.
If you are considering adding to an existing pool or first time installation, speak to Houspect in the Northern Territory for all your building inspection needs.