Reducing Operational Costs During COVID-19 for Aquatic Facilities

The following is an outline of generic principles for how to transition Aquatic Facilities into and out of a 'hibernation' mode to reduce operational costs during the COVID-19 period of shut-down. Please note these are generic to typical systems for Aquatic Facilities, and specific sites will operate differently depending on their installed heating and ventilation systems. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions.

Going into "hibernation mode"

  • Turn off the pool heating for all pools and allow the pools to cool down. It is critical that this is done before any changes are made to the ventilation system. Reducing the pool water temperature as low as possible will reduce energy demand on the ventilation systems (20°C and below is good). Take the opportunity to backwash sand filters thoroughly to drain water to waste - this can also have energy savings. Note that pools can take up to 3-4 days to cool down.
  • Turn all pool water pumps and features off except the main circulation pumps for the pools. This includes steam rooms, saunas, spa jets, water toys, rapid/lazy rivers, water slides, wave pools etc.
  • All non-pool hall based heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can go into a reduced mode (night/un-occupied mode) immediately. Please ensure these systems are not related to the pool hall - pool hall ventilation must remain operational running until the pools are down in temperature. Note there may be some systems that are still critical to run such as data rooms, so use pre-set up controls where possible.
  • With the pools cold, the pool hall ventilation can be set to a reduced mode (night/un-occupied mode) and the temperature set-point can gradually be reduced. The temperature should typically be 1°C above the highest pool temperature. The dehumidification strategy should remain as per typical operation, controlling relative humidity to below 60%-65%. Please note the temperature that the pool hall was set to as this will need to be re-instated when normal operation resumes.
  • Once all pools are down in temperature (i.e. 20°C or below), cover the pools with thermal blankets if available, and set the temperature of the pool hall to 1°C above the warmest pool.

Please look for any condensation or water forming within the pool hall. Pay particular attention to cold surfaces such as windows.

Coming out of "hibernate mode"

  • Reinstate the pool hall ventilation to the original temperature set point (likely between 25-28°C) and take out of the reduced mode (night/un-occupied mode). This needs to be done before heating of the pools is reinstated.
  • Turn on the pool heating. Please note this will take several days and will vary based on the size of the heating source and pool. Hopefully you know how long this takes for your site based on previous shutdowns.
  • Turn on all non-pool hall based heating and ventilation back on prior to opening (typically the day before to re-heat the spaces).
  • Remove pool covers on the morning of the re-opening of the pool and reinstate all pool water pumps and features.
Information provided by Nick Yannakis, Powell Fenwick
DDI: 03 595 0848 / M: 021 229 9923 / P: 03 366 1777 / E: / W:

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