In the last decade, the aquatics industry has started to embrace innovation and technology as a way to drive efficiency and greater ROI. Depending on the size of the facility, owners and operators probably have different opinions on the best ways to drive innovation. What works well for one might not be as successful for another commercial property.
In this article, we will explore the top 11 ways to truly drive innovation at your commercial pool and spa facility. Whether it's with aquatic facility software, variable speed pump systems, or improved communications, you’ll probably want to implement a few or all of these top modernizations to take your facility to the next level, ensure great customer satisfaction, spring ahead of the competition, and enjoy an expansion of the bottom line with greater efficiency.
1. Variable Speed Pumps
In the last decade, the biggest innovation to affect commercial aquatic facilities is the variable speed pump. Pumps used to run at a single speed which would waste power. A pump does not need to operate at full capacity all the time. The pump can effectively filter the pool’s water at a lower speed which helps save your facility money.
The affordable variable speed pump effectively circulates the pool’s water 24/7. The pump’s design provides impressive energy savings. The initial high up-front cost of installing a variable speed pump in your facility may seem costly but you have to look at the energy savings that you will achieve. Reports show that you could save 83% in energy costs by upgrading to a variable speed pump at your aquatic facility.
A variable speed pump filters pool water rapidly and efficiently. The size of your aquatic facility will decide how many hours each day you’ll need to operate the pool pump. You’ll also need to factor in the pump’s horsepower, water balance, and pool usage when determining at what speed the pump works best and how often you’ll need to operate it at maximum capacity.
Typically, with such a pump, you can run it at lower speeds for a longer period of time to achieve the same degree of filtration which ultimately means your facility will consume less electricity, so you’ll enjoy greater savings and lower your costs.
Depending on where your aquatic facility is located, some states have laws that require a degree of energy efficiency for pool pumps and are often a part of the building codes. If not enforced, the commercial pool facility could face fines if a violation occurs.
You’ll want to check with the state’s energy efficiency laws to ensure that the pool pump you pick is within compliance and learn whether or not you’ll need to upgrade. You can choose between a dual speed pump or a variable speed model.
In some locations, power companies offer rebates as an incentive to reduce your aquatic facility’s power usage with an energy efficient or smart choice pump.
2. Water Features
Competition between commercial pools and spas has become fierce. Owners and operators are scrambling to think of ways to stand out and modernize. Visitors don’t want just an old-school swimming pool. They want more. It’s all about the ‘wow’ factor.
Commercial pools that operate in the hospitality business focus on creating a relaxing and peaceful environment. Water features have become a must-have. Consider upgrading your aquatic facility with the following aquatic innovations:
- Artificial waterfalls
- Rain curtains
- Fog or misting systems
- Children’s aquatic playground
Innovative splash pads have become immensely popular. The larger the better in most areas. Municipalities, commercial pools, and other aquatic facilities are designing elaborate splash pads that often involve intricate themes.
High demand is driving larger and more elaborate splash pads that feature variable frequency drive technology that allows for varying spray heights. Many of the designs have interactive fountains that pulsate to music and have changing lights for nighttime fun and water shows. Typically, the sprays in a splash pad are all maintained at a height of four to six feet which is viewed as appropriate for children. However, if you want the splashpad to double as a water show then you can ramp up the pump to create water sprays that reach 20 to 30 feet in height.
Automated water management systems use secure wireless internet to effectively operate and control interactive fountains. You can operate them using the software from any mobile device such as an iPhone. You can even program different scenes and make programmed water effects such as lighting or sound to create ambiance.
3. Improve the Pool Deck
The pool deck is often a mundane area that surrounds the pool and spa area. You can stick a few lounge chairs in the space, but pool patrons want a more modern, comfortable pool deck. The pool deck must have certain safety features that you cannot ignore, but you can also add additional modern touches to the area.
- Luxurious poolside seating
- Walkways through the pool deck for accessibility and greater convenience
- Fire pits to create ambiance
4. Built-in Spa
Does your commercial aquatic facility have a spa? If not, then you’ll definitely want to consider adding the innovation.
In fact, a built-in spa is not just a wish-list item any longer, but a must-have to remain in competition. Your guests will enjoy the casual ambiance as they leave the commercial pool and enter the built-in spa to relax. You can also add an inground spa or hot tub in close proximity to the commercial pool if your budget simply will not allow you to have a built-in spa installed.
5. Create Different Areas for Varied Pool Use
When you run a commercial pool, one of the first things you learn is that people want to use the aquatic facility for distinct reasons. Some enjoy performing vigorous laps, others enjoy aquatic exercise, families with children like to play and many just want to float around. Ideally, you should create different regions in your aquatic facility to meet the various needs of your patrons so you can best serve their preferences and needs.
6. Embrace Pool Entrance Variety
In the old days, guests would get into the water either via a diving board or simply using the standard pool ladder. However, nowadays guests want a fun way to get into the pool.
In an effort to make your aquatic facility more appealing and exciting, you should explore contemporary design options to let people enter the water in a fun manner.
Consider an enclosed pool tube slide or a water slide. Children love duck slides or other character focused fun slides.
7. Pool Coverings
Is your commercial pool located outdoors where it is regularly exposed to sun? If so, then investing in a cover above the pool is a must-have. It will afford shelter from the sun and heat while making the pool appear even more inviting.
Extend the covering either fully or partially over the pool. Nowadays, there are a multitude of designs and options available. Investing in a pool cover not only makes your aquatic facility more aesthetically pleasing but it also serves as shade and shelter.
When the days start to grow shorter, you want your aquatic facility to still remain appealing. Investing in pool lighting keeps you in operation well into the evening hours.
Best of all, upgrading to innovative lighting can actually help you save money by reducing energy consumption. Switch your aquatic facilities’ lighting from incandescent lighting to LED pool lights. The simple switch can save you thousands each year by lowering your energy consumption.
LED pool lights use low watts but offer the same impressive output of light without costing as much as halogens. Also, LED lights tend to last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs which makes them an ideal investment.
Your staff will also waste less energy and time swapping out old, burned-out bulbs for new ones, so you’ll save substantially on man hours.
9. Take Safety to a New Level
Manufacturers continue to come out with improved and innovative safety devices and equipment. Roofs, barriers, alarms, and shutters are all easily handled via pool automation software
Pool alarms can easily detect any child that weighs under 14 pounds and will quickly sound an alarm to alert pool attendees and lifeguards if an accident should occur. The alarms will be triggered over simple movement. Position the alarms after the swim session ends and the pool closes.
There are two types of alarms commonly available: buoy style alarms and traditional perimeter alarms.
- Buoy style alarms are positioned on the water’s surface and will detect anytime anyone enters the pool water.
- Traditional perimeter alarms work in a similar fashion but are highly affordable and trigger when anyone crosses the pool’s perimeter.
Pool covers are available as either soft top or hard top. They span the entire swimming pool. You’ll find a wide array of models such as:
· Automatic rolling
· Polyester roof style
· Overlapping cover which covers only part way of the pool side
· Moveable floor
· Foam and mesh models
You’ll need to determine which one best fits your safety needs.
A pool cover can effectively prevent a toddler or small child from entering or accidentally falling into the pool. The cover has the ability to remain solid enough to even withstand the weight of an adult without injuring the person. Always position the cover after the pool closes to prevent injury or death.
Pool barriers keep children under five from accessing the pool and falling into the water. The barrier is designed high enough (three feet minimum) to effectively obstruct a child. You can affix the barriers between points of support. Use an automatic gate for added security.
Pool roofs are another innovative safety feature that has recently become exceedingly popular. The pool roof secures the aquatic environment when it is closed. It effectively blocks access to the water. After installing a pool roof, you should also use the above safety features to ensure future safety. With a pool roof, you can close and lock the facility when not in use.
Video surveillance is an extra layer of security for your aquatic facility. You can affix the surveillance cameras to the pool's floor or walls. Invest in high-definition camera models that are chlorine resistant for the longest life under water.
Additional safety features to include are a handheld, automatic, or inbuilt safety ladders. Net, buoy, and telephones within easy reach of the pool personnel and lifeguards.
10. Heating And Air Options
With a strong focus on energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint, commercial aquatic facilities are taking a hard look at innovative ways to reduce humidity while recovering energy to heat the pool’s water. Reports reveal that the city of Plano, Texas recently embraced modernization by installing a combination dehumidifier/ boiler at the city’s natatorium Oak Point Center.
Two rooftop dehumidifiers that include modular natural gas boilers were installed that total 1.5 Btu. The dehumidifiers effectively keep the space dry by removing 280 pounds of moisture hourly.
The units also recover energy which is then used to heat the one pool which is 624,000 gallons and a second pool which holds 48,000 to a temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the boiler and glycol loop combo effectively heat the 300,000 sq. foot pool facility by utilizing an onboard water-to-air heat exchanger. By installing the dehumidifier/boiler packaged units, the state of Texas saved $15,000 in labor costs and equipment.
The placement of the roof boilers ensures that they will not corrode and prematurely fail from caustic chemical gas accumulation that is typically found in pool rooms. The innovative combo saves space and money.
With the design, the return air is handled via twenty 18-inch corrosion resistant aluminum ducts that each feature a balancing damper to further improve air distribution.
The Leader in Aquatic Innovation
We complete our list of the 11 ways to drive innovation at your commercial pool and spa facility with aquatics operations software. Without a doubt, automated water management has taken the management and operation of commercial aquatics to the next level by creating greater sustainability, safety, and cost-effectiveness in every component of the facility. Manage all aspects of your pool and spa’s water.
11. Implement Aquatic Operations Software
Working with an automated water management system is like having a virtual team at your disposal. You can monitor and control multiple aspects of your commercial aquatic facility remotely. With a proactive approach to pool management, you enjoy energy efficiency and greater savings.
Aquatics management software lets you control all areas of your pool from any mobile device from anywhere. Manage multiple pool properties with ease.
With water management software you manage the following at your aquatic facility:
- Pool pumps
- HVAC system
- Pool heaters
- Water features such as splash pads
- Chemical levels
- And more
Aquatic Operations Software Benefits
In most areas, saying ‘no’ to water management software is no longer realistic. Nationwide, many building and health department codes have changed and now require automation for the management of commercial aquatic facilities.
Traditional systems rely on the use of programs and sensors to support the correct chemical levels. However, such a process is rife with human error even with a 24/7 team struggling to handle all the processes.
Commercial water management software saves you money and time by lowering the excessive expenses that are associated with hand-dosing. With online connectivity you benefit from 24/7 monitoring across all facilities using any mobile device. The modular sensors accurately take the guessing out of things by watching all aspects of water management.
The benefits include the following:
- Save time and money.
- Manage all aspects of the aquatic facility, pull reports when you need them, and ensure compliance and safety.
- Take productivity to the next level with speed and accuracy as you track customer transactions, manage scheduling, and check chemical levels.
- Automate preventive maintenance and keep a schedule of needed changes or repairs.
- Regulate pH levels and pH levels to create a safe aquatic environment.
- Cut labor costs delegating the aquatic facility’s resources.
- Improved energy savings and greater sustainability.
Investing in commercial water management software holds the promise of taking your aquatic facility to the next level in innovation to boost your aquatic facility’s ROI.
Key Points of an Automated Water Management System
When shopping for an automated water management system, the first thing you’ll notice is that you have a variety of choices available online from different vendors.
Considerations when buying automated water management software:
Is the commercial pool management software straightforward and easy to use? You want the software to streamline operations for your staff and yourself. You don’t want to waste an excessive amount of time on training. Our team at VivoAquatics supplies all of the training and documentation needed so you can master our software and also guide your operators. We want to ensure that you know how to use the innovative automated pool management software.
With VivoPoint, you’ll have expert support whenever you need it. Whether you are faced with a minor problem or a major dilemma, we are here for you. We offer chat, email, and phone support. You’ll also enjoy 24/7 monitoring along with ongoing notifications that provide all chemical level readings with VivoPoint.
Water management software must always provide protection, so you know your data is safe and secure from any malicious attacks or unauthorized access. Nowadays, security breaches occur often. A cyber-attack can impact your aquatic facility financially and harm your business reputation by causing trust issues to arise. With VivoAquatics, we provide secure pool automation you can count on.
When shopping for aquatic operations software, you have probably set a budget. You’ll discover that the cost of pool software runs the gamut. However, cheaper software often has hidden and ongoing costs. Expensive software might carry a high price, but you won’t be faced with any monthly fees or hidden charges for support updates. You’ll want to discuss all price points when buying software before making a decision.
With VivoAquatics’ solutions, aquatic operations and water management software is very straightforward with no hidden fees. You can check and control your pools and spas while ensuring satisfaction. Guests will enjoy a premium experience and keep coming back to enjoy the facility’s refreshingly pristine water features.
VivoAquatics Water Management Software
At VivoAquatics we offer:
- VivoPoint is a cloud-based solution: With VivoPoint you can manage your aquatic operations while still being compliant and reducing costs. Access your facility’s data from any mobile device. With daily data on all water chemistry readings, task management, and incident reports, you'll ensure that your facility remains compliant and safe. You’ll also receive 24/7 chemical readings. Effortlessly track your water usage, chemicals, and water safety.
- VivoPoint Pro takes compliance to the next level by combining the VivoPoint platform with IoT hardware on-site, which includes water usage sensors and chemical controllers. You’ll also receive help from predictive analytics and real-time monitoring.
If you genuinely want to modernize your commercial pool facility, then you’ll want to invest in water management software. Think about what features you need, your budget, and the size of your aquatic facility before making a decision. You want software that meets your price point and is also easy to use with a resolute support team to address any problems or concerns you might have.
At VivoAquatics, we are here to meet your needs and provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your water management is being handled by innovative automation. We provide 24/7 monitoring and support coupled with performance data, trend analytics, real time alerts, and ongoing water chemical readings. We are confident that our automated water management software system will not only meet but exceed your expectations. Contact us to learn more today.