As you might recall, the Q5® Standard is a pioneering CES rating system designed to help select organizations by giving a clear roadmap to operate their pools to a higher standard. It is a registered trademark of CES, is patent pending, and has been used by a number of CES’s leading Hotel, Country Club, Municipalities, Universities and Swim School customers for over 15 years.
Due to the Pandemic and recommendations to follow updated protocols from CDC and several international health organizations, many facilities have updated their physical cleaning procedures permanently, finding that they needed improvement in order to better prevent transmission of bacteria and potential diseases. This in turn has raised the bar for the industry as a whole, and redefined best practice. The Q5® Standard needed to reflect the change as well as Pandemic-induced updated cleaning procedures which have now been added to several Q5® sections, thus raising the bar as to what constitutes best practice. But, what about the Q5® Standard?
As a recap, it is based on a 5-Star 50-point rating system with points (or half points) earned for achieving key milestones in:
- Safety and Code Compliance
- Mechanical Systems
- Physical and Aesthetic Appeal
- Oxidation and Water Quality
- Operations and Management
Each section counts for 10 points, and results are tallied and translated to a simple to understand 1-5 Star Rating. Audits are conducted by experienced industry professionals using a tablet-based auditing system. Several CES customers have achieved a 5-Star rating over the years, and have used the Q5® to provide the safest, most appealing pools for new or existing facilities. Just like a 4 or 5-Star hotel seeks to exceed industry standards for quality and repeatability in their kitchen, common area cleanliness, and guest services, they might also seek to rate their pool operations by a similar objective and comprehensive rating system. Some asked themselves: What standards are we operating our pools to anyway, and some answered the Health Code. Unfortunately, the code is an admittedly minimum standard which does not profess to direct customers on maintenance, advanced oxidation or controls, overall water balance, safety procedures, etc. and thus a pool operating to the minimum standard of the code might only rank at 2.5-3 Stars on the Q5 Standard…. not a good enough target for those seeking better liability protection or a higher overall standard.
Also, since the program is prescriptive, once any potential deficiencies (compared to best practices) are identified, the customer can complete or budget for short and long term upgrades in training, procedures, protocols, or equipment modernizations in order to get back on par with the best practice, and raise the quality of their operations (and Star Rating) of their facilities.
The Pandemic has succeeded in focusing attention on previous inefficiencies in the physical cleaning of the pool areas, pool toys, locker rooms, rest rooms, etc. introducing new techniques such as the Wysiwash or high strength non-toxic cleaning chemical HOCL produced in the ChlorKing Hypogen system and the use of foggers and misting systems for more thorough cleaning, etc. The Hypogen, introduced in a blog a few weeks ago, and to be featured in more detail later, produces a water-based HOCL solution (at 1000 PPM) with a perfect pH to provide over 95% HOCL consistently and lasting for weeks. That provides a 99.99999% kill of major pathogens in less than 30-seconds, yet is safe enough to spray on your tongue or to mist patrons entering a facility.
Now that the entire world is focused on providing the safest possible environment for their families, most feel that updated cleaning was long overdue, and is here to stay… just like 9/11 changed the way we travel, COVID-19 has changed the way we clean our facilities. Since it has been proven that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted in properly treated water, thousands of CES customer have “checked that box”, but are now focusing on the physical cleaning which may not have been at the same high standard.
We’re here to help. Please contact your CES rep for more information on the Q5® Standard, Hypogen, or any aspect or our water quality control programs.