With thousands of cricket fans set to take a dive in Cricket Australia’s Pool Deck at the GABBA again this summer, water health and safety is high on the agenda with one local businessman tasked with keeping the ‘water nasties’ at bay.
Poolwerx Franchise Partner Paul Attard has the task of maintaining the 32,000 litre pool at the Gabba sports stadium, which requires him to test the water three times a day when games are on.
Mr Attard, who drew on over a decade of experience in the pool industry to prepare the pool again for cricket fans, said with the large number of swimmers in and out of the pool, the water health needed to be monitored closely.
“Contaminants like sweat, body oils, sunscreen and drinks wash-off in pool water, which can impact pH levels and encourage bacteria. So on Test match days we test and balance the pool water three times a day and clean the cartridges in the evening,” he said.
“Prior to the pool opening, we came in, plumbed it and maximised the hydraulics to ensure the pool water would circulate efficiently,” he said.
Mr Attard said he and wife Caroline currently also maintain the five spas in the dressing rooms at the Gabba and were approached by Cricket Australia to assist with the set-up and maintenance of the new pool.
“The pool is temporary and therefore was constructed with scaffolding and a surface liner, so the pool equipment we used had to be suitable for use with these particular construction materials,” he said. “We installed an automated salt water pH control unit so that the pH level of the pool would remain within the optimal pH range. The pool also has cartridge filters and a pump.”
The Attards have operated their Poolwerx business for over eleven years and Mr Attard said commercial pool maintenance made up about 40 per cent of their business.
“We maintain health clubs, swim schools and school pools as well as a number of body corporate pools, so we have experience in maintaining pools that carry a heavy bather load,” he said.
Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien said the contract for maintaining Cricket Australia’s Pool at the Gabba was one of the highest profile commercial jobs in the company.
“Commercial pool maintenance is a big part of the work that our Franchise Partners across Australia manage. On average it makes about 30 percent of their regular work,” he said.
Mr O’Brien said one of the reasons Poolwerx was so successful landing big commercial jobs was because of the franchise’s commitment to pool technician accreditation.
“Poolwerx recognised a service from a certified technician was above and beyond that of an unqualified technician, so we were instrumental in actually establishing national accreditation for the industry,” Mr O’Brien said. “We are the first company in the industry to ensure there is one accredited technician in every Poolwerx franchise.”
The Cricket Australia Pool Deck at the Gabba will be open throughout the summer of cricket.