Pool & Spa: FAQ's and Rules
One of the best ways to cool off from this record-breaking summer heat is to head down to the pool for a quick swim, so we thought we would take the time to answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about them.
Before we start, a word of caution: please remember that the pool deck, as well as the changerooms, can often be slippery as water may puddle or drip when other wet swimmers walk around. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid an unfortunate slip and fall!
What are the pool and spa hours?
The pool and spa hours are 6 am – 12 midnight, Monday – Sunday.
The pool and spa will be closed for roughly an hour on Monday between 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for cleaning. The spa will be closed for a longer period afterwards as the water heats up and it is brought to proper balance. These days may change due to things like holidays as we try to keep the pool and spa open for as much time as possible during things like long weekends so that families have a chance to enjoy it. We will improve our communication of this by posting closures and notifications by the doors to the changerooms.
How big is the pool and spa?
The Pool is roughly 10m x 4m and requires roughly 64,000L of water to fill.
The Spa is a 2m x 1m Oval and requires roughly 3,000L of water to fill.
What temperature are the pool and spa kept at?
The pool is kept at the City of Toronto standard of 84ᵒf (or just under 29ᵒC).
The spa is kept at the City of Toronto maximum temperature of 104ᵒf (40ᵒC).
Can I bring flotation devices or pool toys?
Swimming aids such as water wings, flutter boards or life jackets are permitted so long as they are being used for the aid of swimming or safety and not boisterous play. We ask that you do not bring pool toys such as water guns, beach balls or pool noodles. We also ask that you respect other swimmers in the pool by limiting splashing.
We also do not allow the use of emergency equipment as toys or a swimming aid. Often, we enter to find the mounted life rings being used to pull children around the water or the spine board being used as a mock surfboard. Please realize that this equipment is certified and present to assist first responders should a life-threatening emergency occur. Tampering with the equipment could cause damage and limit their effectiveness in a real emergency.
Is there any furniture to sit on?
Unfortunately, due to the size of the pool area, regulations cannot allow furniture to be placed on deck. A minimum area around the pool must always be maintained in case emergency personnel need to respond with large equipment such as a stretcher. To give a place to relax we have placed patio furniture just outside on the terrace for your enjoyment during warmer weather. Simply unlock the glass door to gain access, and please remember to lock the door again after you leave.
Cleaning and Closures:
When do you clean the pool/spa?
Monday mornings, usually between 10 am and noon. We vacuum the pool and spa, change the water of the spa, clean out all the filter baskets and wash the sand filters down in the mechanical room.
Aside from active cleaning, the pumps are constantly running, sending water through filter baskets to catch large debris, sand filters to catch fine debris and dosing the water with chemicals to sanitize anything that is left.
Why does the spa always close on Mondays and why does it feel cold?
Every Monday we change the water of the spa. Unfortunately, this water comes out at roughly 45-50ᵒf (7ᵒC) and it then takes our heater a few hours to raise it back to 104ᵒf (40ᵒC).
How often are the pool and spa tested for chemicals, safety, etc?
The pool and spa are tested for chemical safety roughly once every four hours starting just before opening at 5:30 am with the last test being done at roughly 9 pm.
The pool deck is checked in the morning before opening by Security and during the day by the Superintendents. It is also monitored 24/7 by the security cameras which are fed to the Security Desk.
Why are the pool and spa often closed during the morning?
The short answer is because the Superintendents are not yet on duty. Roughly 30 minutes before the pool and spa are opened at 6 am they are chemically tested. If they do not pass these tests, the pool and/or spa must be left closed until 9 am when the Superintendents arrive. Once the Superintendents arrive one of their first duties is to perform the 9am chemical testing. Should any levels be off, the Superintendents will add an appropriate amount of chemical to balance the water chemistry. These chemicals usually take roughly 30 minutes to spread through the water at which point a second test is performed and if passed the pool/spa will be opened.
Why is the spa closed more often than the pool?
The short answer is dilution. The pool and spa both average roughly the same number of bathers per day, with the spa being slightly lower. However, the pool contains over 20 times the amount of water. This means that the pool can take almost 20 times as many contaminants before it reacts in the same way as the spa. Therefore, we change the water in the spa once a week while only replacing a small fraction of the water in the pool.
Rules and why we enforce them:
Why do I have to shower before entering the pool or spa? What if I just showered in my unit?
You must shower prior to entering the pool to limit the contaminants you bring into the pool. When you get into the water, everything on your body (sweat, dirt, oil, bodily fluids) ends up in the water. This can have many effects, such as raising or lowering the pH level or using up our sanitizer. Showering with soap and water may not remove all of this but it will significantly reduce the amount that the pool is exposed to, helping to limit the spread of bacteria and reducing the total amount of chemicals we need to add into the pool.
As far as showering in your unit before going to the pool, our argument is that we have no form of proof. No one wants to come down the elevators dripping wet, and this is often used as an excuse when residents walked into the pool enclosure dry. Are your clothes clean? Did you shower in the morning and have since put on several things from deodorant to hair products? Did you just come from a sweaty day of work? Therefore, we require that you shower with soap and water before entering the pool just to be safe.
Why do I have to wear swimming attire?
Certain fabrics such as cotton can hold more contaminants such as detergent, or bacteria or can be broken down letting fibres flow into pumps and filters. Also, many fabrics will absorb a large amount of water and weigh down the swimmer potentially causing safety issues in weaker swimmers. Modern bathing suits have largly fixed these issues with use of different fabrics and are generally favourable to “street clothing”.
Is it okay if I pee in the pool?
Really… No. No, its not okay. No one wants to swim in a toilet and the pool should not be treated as such. There are washrooms in the changerooms located a few feet away for just such an occasion. And for the record yes, I have gotten this question, and on more than one occasion.
Thank you for your interest and I hope we have been able to answer some of your questions. If you have any other questions please contact Management or you can email us directly at Super@EmeraldCityOne.com
Superintendents Doug and Jason for TSCC2368