The first step in any swimming pool project is to perform a risk assessment at the beginning of project implementation before any work is done.
Swimming pools are no longer a luxury for the rich. According to Ivan Idondo, the managing director of Pool Doctors Uganda Ltd, swimming pools are no longer a privilege for the rich or high-end commercial projects. These days, even a moderate home, school, hotel or recreation centre can have one.
Michael Sembuya, a pool attendant in Mukono says that there is always fear for accidents more so, kids drowning in swimming pools but once precautionary measures are respected, the swimming pool can be one of the safest features in any environment, homes inclusive.
Why consider having one
Whether you live in a warm or cool climate, usually, swimming pools can be enjoyed by homeowners for at least three months out of the calendar year. For those that have indoor pools, the weather doesn’t affect their use.
Away from that, the health attributes of pools are no secret. They are a great way to exercise for both adults and children.
“The added benefits of no impact while exercising the body are the fun-filled activities. Kids and adults alike, enjoy playing and relaxing around a pool,” he emphasises.
Swimming pools are also used during physiotherapy sessions to help patients such as those who have suffered from a stroke to rejuvenate their working ability.
Besides, having a swimming pool at home allows for privacy. If you are the kind that doesn’t feel comfortable swimming from beaches and public pools such as hotels, then, a private pool comes in handy.
It is now easy to own a swimming pool
First forward, there are different types of swimming pool options and designs one can choose from.
These include; infinity lagoon, skimmer, overflow, concrete, fibreglass composite, above ground and vinyl liner swimming pools.
Idondo says that they have a provision for asset financing with several banks to enable clients to acquire the swimming pools of their choice within their homes with ease.
“This allows the client to pay for the swimming pool costs at their convenient pace in the bank while the construction works are not interfered with at all,” he elaborates.
How the swimming pool is constructed?
The first step in any swimming pool project is to perform a risk assessment at the beginning of project implementation before any work is done. When performing a risk assessment, the expert ensures all possible challenges are identified and mitigated on time. In other words, the site is assessed for any hazards or potential problems.
Idondo adds that after the assessment, they then begin the excavation process. This is usually a messy and dirty process but necessary because one cannot build an in-ground pool without it.
Also, for safety, a site fence is erected before excavation.
“It takes a few days digging away the earth to create the excavation, and then more time making sure the excavated hole meets the exact parameters necessary to launch the rest of the project,” he expounds.
Sometimes, the excavation process can be hindered by different barriers such as unapproved plans, sewage and power lines among others and these can halt the project.
If the barriers are sorted, then, the next step is to Implement the supporting architecture.
Idondo says that different contractors may use different materials to support the architecture of a pool, but all will use something strong and sturdy. For example, steel makes for an effective and robust material to reinforce pool construction. Add the framing to provide the solid support needed.
Going forward, prepare the plumbing system. When it comes to plumbing, the materials are everything. Make sure the contractor is using the approved pipes and fixtures.
Also, the builder should make a list of the different parts they will be using in this project so that they don’t miss out on key plumbing sections of the swimming pool.
After, the shell of the pool is constructed. This is an important part of the process because the client finally sees what looks like a pool in their compound rather than just a hole.
Idondo asserts that different pools can be made from different materials, but mortar, which is a mixture of sand, rock, and cement can be a good choice for a task like this.
“For mortar, have a five-day treatment period. Each day, three times. You need to water the pool and soak it with a hosepipe,” he cautions adding that this will help the mortar to set before installing the waterline tiling.
Pool tiling is when the pool really becomes one.
After, lay the decking around the pool depending on the client’s preference but, usually, in pool construction, clients prefer a patio-like space.
Others may opt for decking or tiling but the process is similar for all; clear the area where the decking will be and lay concrete. After, construct your patio of whatever materials on top.
Back to the construction process of the swimming pool, at this stage, one can now fix the electrical systems.
“Ensure the systems are installed correctly and are working well. It is even more important that they are installed safely,” he adds.
Next is to conduct an area clean-up. Once the construction is done, the site must be cleared and cleaned.
“We don't want the messy backdrop to ruin the big reveal,” Idondo notes.
Also, perform all double checks on the structures and final check on all structural and system elements to ensure all are secure.
Finally, fill the pool with water to full capacity to check for any leakages. This is the final stage and the most critical part of the construction works. Therefore, ensure it’s done by swimming pool construction specialist before the pool is put to use.
How to maintain the swimming pool?
If the pool users follow the safety rules, there will be no accidents. This also decreases the potential liability exposure.
Ensure the pool is not easily accessible to children. Install a fence at least four feet high around the entire pool area with a gate that latches and locks. Clear away any items the children can use to climb over. Pool alarms and safety covers add extra protection.
A pool drain can trap a child under water. To mitigate this, cover the drain with a safety guard. Tie up long hair before swimming, and teach children to stay away from drains and filters. In particular, teach them never to sit on a pool drain.
Store a first aid kit, water-resistant phone, reaching poles and rescue tubes near the pool area to be used in case of emergency. Do not allow children to play with these items.
Also, ensure all family members take up swimming lessons with a professional instructor. Adults and teens should have first aid and CPR lessons.
Adults should not swim alone, and children should never swim without an adult present and watching them constantly. Those who cannot swim well should wear a life jacket while in the pool.
Keep the pool area clear of glass items, electrical devices and obstacles that could cause a fall or injury.
Aside from that, always ensure that the swimming pool is treated 12 hours before use. This allows the chemicals to properly dissolve in the water.
Also, ensure the swimming pool is being used when the bottom of is clearly seen.
Idondo says that for home pools, they charge sh1.2m per square metre and this is reached at after calculating the width, depth and height. “Many homeowners prefer a 5X10metre pool,” he notes.