Pool chemistry logs and records are something every swimming pool operator and pool manager has to do. You’ve probably done it for years and years without once questioning the process in which it’s been done. Now, if you are like me, once upon a time you attended a Certified Pool Operator (CPO) course and they gave you a template to track pool chemistry, the “paper way.” This has worked well for a time, but with the advent of modern technology and mobile devices, there are now more efficient ways this can be done.
So why keep pool logs? Well, first your local state requires it, typically you must keep pool chemical
khuugglogs for a period of not less than 1 to 3 years. Although, to mitigate future risk it would be advised to keep them forever. Forever? Sounds like a lot of paper and filing cabinets...but it doesn't have to be.
Methods for pool chemistry logs and tracking
1. Paper pool log
The “old fashioned” way. Using this method after each manual chemical test you need to transpose the data onto your paper pool log sheet.
- Meets state and governments standards if all the required fields are tracked.
- Paper may get wet, damaged, or lost
- Storing a minimum of 1-3 years of pool logs can be unorganized and take up a lot of space
- Alerts for unsafe levels of water chemistry must be reported manually by calling, texting, or emailing a supervisor
- The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) must be calculated by hand or electronically and written down on the log sheet
- Can be difficult to locate records in case of a legal case or dispute
- Chemical and pool logs must be re-entered “digitally” into Microsoft Excel or other computer software to view trends and data over time
- Easy to “fake” or “forge” records and dates
- Calculations to determine how much of specific "chemical" needs to be added to the pool must be done by separately
2. Google Forms
Google Forms is something not often thought about in the aquatics industry, however, it can be extremely useful to streamline a paper process such as pool chemistry logs.
- Digital tracking and backup of your pool logs and pool chemistry
- Easy to set up forms using the Google Forms interface
- Mobile responsive for using multiple platforms for data entry
- Limited to “personal” Google accounts unless your organization either uses Google for their corporate email accounts or your organization pays for corporate accounts at $5-10 each
- Specialized calculations need to be manually added as formulas to the Google Sheets where the data is outputted. Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is a great example of this
- Trends and viewing the pool log data over time is limited to sorting columns and generating charts as needed
- No alerts for low levels or dangerous pool chemistry readings
- Easy to “fake” or “forge” records and dates in the spreadsheet file as all cells are editable
DigiQuatics allows you to set up an unlimited number of locations or facilities and assign an unlimited number of pools to each location. Pool logs are kept indefinitely, backed up, and are exportable at any time to Excel. DigiQuatics also allows you to create custom fields for each pool's chemical logs so you can track anything needed; for example, pump pressure, flow rate, etc. When a chemical record is submitted DigiQuatics will automatically calculate the Saturation Index, and recommend which chemicals you should add to the pool to get it balanced. Custom text and email alerts can also be setup and triggered for low / high: chlorine, pH, and temperature.
- Ability to track pool logs digitally
- Multiple locations and pools can be set up in the app
- Advanced analytics features to dive down into trends over time
- Email and text message alerts for low levels
- Automatic calculations for Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) and combined chlorine
- Export records to Microsoft Excel
- Automatic chemical recommendation dosages that can be tailored on a per pool basis
- You may not need all the modules and features DigiQuatics provides. Contact DigiQuatics for information on using a single module; we can work with you
- DigiQuatics Chemical Record / Pool Logs
- Pool Chemical Calculator
- Calculating the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI)
4. Apple iOS or Google Android Apps
There are some select Android and iOS apps that can help with pool logs. For iOS and Android there are a variety of apps that do this.
- Mobile app
- Digital tracking of pool logs
- Limited ability to sync pool logs across pools / facilities
- Lack of support
- Typically unknown how long a specific app will be around
- No clear path to migrate data from one system to another
- Lack of sophisticated chemical recommendations
5. Pool Shark
Pool Shark is a pool management and log system you can use to organize your pool logs digitally. It allows you to use a mobile device to enter all pool logs.
- Digital management of pool logs
- Alerts for low levels or dangerous pool chemistry readings
- Dosage calculations/recommendations
- Export records to Microsoft Excel
- Limited user interface
- No robust analytics or visual presentation in charts
- No customizable additional fields
Now you should be aware of the many ways to handle pool logs. At the end of the day everything comes back to safety and risk management. Ensuring the best and most accurate pool logs is critical for the wellbeing of your patron swimmers and the pool itself. Be sure to take pool logs seriously to mitigate potential risk of any legal action due to unsafe water conditions or incomplete logs.
Disclaimer: Legal requirements for pool logs vary from state-to-state; please consult your local health department or State government to determine which readings need to be done, and how often.
Note: Guidelines vary slightly from state-to-state; please inquire with your local health department on the best form or method to use for pool logs.
Have another method? Comment below.
Happy pool logging!