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Abstract

This study statistically compared operators certified as YMCA pool operator on location (POOL)) with noncertified operators managing YMCA aquatic facilities with respect to water chemistry (pH and Langelier Saturation Index [LSI]) and chlorine levels (free-available and combined-chlorine levels). The study used a convenience sample of 572 pools and spas located at approximately 250 YMCAs. Certification was used as the factor, and the responses included pH, compliance with pH, free chlorine, compliance with free chlorine, combined chlorine, compliance with combined chlorine, LSI, and compliance with LSI. The results indicate that the POOL certification program does provide some significant results related to the proper care of pools and spas at YMCAs. Significant differences (p < .05) were found between certified and noncertified operators in the level of pH, the level of combined chlorine, and compliance with combined-chlorine standards. The findings of this study underscore the need for increased training for pool and spa operators and greater responsibility on their behalf in maintaining safe chemical conditions in the water. This research supports the YMCA and the aquatic profession that POOL-certified operators do make a difference in maintaining water quality and safer water-chemistry standards.

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