I took my test to be a Certified Pool Operator tonite. I thought it was hard! Water balance, pool chemistry, circulation, filtration...it's all foreign to me. Compared to "The Dam", where I swam and worked as a lifeguard every summer in high school and college, a swimming pool is a whole different world!
Ask me how to get a 3-foot wide snapping turtle out from under a dock and I'm right there!
What to do when a 9-year-old jumps from a 1'x2' platform mounted on a rail 15 feet above water that's only 6' deep..... and cuts his foot wide open on the sharp eye socket of a cow skull that washed downstream? Ask me! Been there...done that!
Water temperature? Clarity and visibility? Hah! That's for sissies!
Water safety in a pool means something completely different than what it did in my "Good Olde Days". Heavy rain here means check the water balance and santation levels. Back then it meant tie a rope around the lifeguard's waist so she could take a swim over to the dam and see if the water level had become high enough and the current strong enough to wash someone over the top!
Those were some really good times, but I have to admit that I've either gotten old or spoiled--or both. Now I have to see the bottom if I'm going to swim there; and although it doesn't have to be "warm", I don't do bone-chilling anymore. I want to know that fish and bacteria can't survive in water that I'm going to open my eyes in, and that scuzzies are getting filtered out from the bottom and the top of the water. Chlorine is my friend--especially now that I know that it's not the chlorine that turns my hair green, and green hair can be prevented and couteracted by rinsing it with warm tap water with a couple of aspirin tablets disolved in it.
That said....after what I've learned about pools, you will never ever see me get into a public spa again! Eeeeeewwww!!!
P.S. I got a 90 on the test. I passed. And I know I don't know enough to run a public pool safely. Scary!