Suggested adjustments to pool inflatable operating procedures

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Due the to outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK and the now expected return to swimming pool fun sessions, Airspace Solutions, in conjunction with Swim England, is suggesting some extra measures to be included in our clients’ everyday operating procedures for use with your wet side pool inflatable. It is most likely that your pool inflatable has been stored either poolside or in a store cupboard during the lockdown period. Prior to first use, all water inflatables should be thoroughly cleaned with fresh chlorinated water and then cleaned all over with a cleaning agent that has antibacterial qualities. NB Please ensure that the product is non-harmful to the PVC.

Airspace have asked for tests to be carried out on our products using a cleaning agent and we are happy to suggest that DESOPURE-F can be safely used. You should also ensure that all of your on-site PPE requirements are met.

After a thorough clean and when the product is ready for use, Airspace advice is to consider including the following additional points into your operational procedures:

  1. Once the inflatable is in position and ready for use, but prior to use, operators should cover/splash the inflatable with pool water.
  2. Prior to the public using the inflatable – all users should get into the swimming pool and swim a distance to ensure they are covered in chlorinated water.
  3. At a suitable time during the inflatable session, we suggest the session is paused to allow the inflatable to be re-covered / splashed with pool water.
  4. After use and once the inflatable has either been pulled onto the poolside or next to the poolside but still on the water, the inflatable should be cleaned with fresh water and then the cleaning anti bacterial agent of your choice.

Operating procedure pool inflatable

  1. Take down the backstroke flags and poles as per the NOP for Backstroke Flags, if applicable.
  2. Check that the pool and poolside is level and clear (with no sharp or abrasive objects).
  3. Unfold the inflatable on the poolside with two people, roll out working as a team and unfolding together.
  4. Ensure that the blower is located in the safe area. In the case of constant flow aquaruns, please ensure that the fan side grill is taking air from a fresh source, ideally outside air.  Risk assessments must consider the increase of aerosols in the atmosphere when using this style of water inflatable (check with Airspace for side pipe attachments).
  5. Test the RCD prior to use.
  6. Undertake a visual check of the inflatable structure and blower.  Check that;
    1. there are no signs of damage or wear and tear.
    2. anchorages are intact, easily visible, suitably protected where necessary and not worn or chafed;
    3. the correct blower specified for the device is being used and the air pressure is sufficient to give a reliable and firm footing;
    4. there are no exposed electrical contacts, there is no wear on electric cables, and plugs, sockets and switches are not damaged;
    5. bolts and screws of the blower are properly secured and that robust guards are secured over the air inlet and outlet;
    6. the blower/inflation tube connection is in good condition and is firmly fixed to the blower;
    7. the blower is positioned correctly, adequately protected or guarded and is not causing a tripping hazard.
  7. The public should not use the inflatable until any defects identified in the daily check have been rectified.
  8. Inflate the structure.
  9. Ensure the inflatable is anchored in place to the shallow end wall eyelets and deep end steps. The aqua run should be at least 2.5 meters from any pool edges (1 to 1.5m from the ‘start end’ unless supervised by a trained colleague where it then should be against the pool wall) and in a minimum depth of 0.9m at the start of the structure and a minimum of 1.5m at the end. (If under 1.8m then lifeguards must be vigilant of people diving off the end). 
  10. Cover the inflatable with pool water using pool scoops or buckets.
  11. Manufacturer’s guidance can be found in the Operation’s Office.
  12. Ensure that the area is secured from public access (until the correct number of trained lifeguards are present as detailed in  the normal operating procedures).

During Use

Lifeguards are located as per the zone plan.

The Lifeguards will:

  1. Carry out a swim test to ensure all users swim at a distance to be determined locally, in the pool prior to the start of session.
  2. Control access on to the aquarun by letting X number of users maximum at any one time, X each side of the dividing wall. One at the start, one in the middle and one at the end. (X to be determined by size of inflatable)
  3. Ensure appropriate social distancing guidelines are adhered to at all times whilst using the inflatable.
  4. Pause the session after a determined period of time, X no of minutes, and re-cover the inflatable with pool water. (X to be determined by site assessment)
  5. Ensure that in addition to the pool rules the following pool inflatable rules are adhered to;


  • Only one persons should go down the slide at any one time.
  • They should only go if the slide and landing area are clear.
  • The slides are designed for users to go down feet first only.
  • Diving off the slide into the pool is potentially hazardous.
  • The slide will not function correctly under excessive loads.
  • No children under the age of 8 are permitted on the inflatable.
  • Such slides are more sensitive to wind hazards and extra attention to weather conditions for outdoor use.

Some suggested guidelines for the attendants are:

  • Users should not approach the aquarun/inflatable unit until given permission to do so.
  • One attendant should control the entry to the unit and users should form an orderly queue.
  • Users should jump onto the unit rather than step on and only one person at a time should be on the landing area.
  • No one may take onto the inflatable with them any hard sharp or dangerous objects, such as buckles, pens, keys, knives etc. Spectacles are best removed, however goggles can be worn.
  • Boisterous behaviour (for example, deliberately pushing others off the inflatable or lifting the inflatable in an attempt to dislodge others) which might put themselves or others at risk is to be curbed. Offenders should be warned in the first instance.
  • Careless or reckless behaviour or intentional rough play including recklessly colliding with other pool users, or interference with anchor ropes, or air pipes or fans, or
  • repeated disregard of operator’s directions, is not to be allowed.
  • Offenders should be dealt with by immediate expulsion.

Ensure social distancing is maintained at all times unless users are of the same household.

  • Users who have failed to complete an obstacle course should not be allowed to climb back onto the inflatable. If anyone falls off then they have to go to the back of the queue.
  • Ensure that users using the inflatable at the same time are all of a similar size and ability.
  • Under no circumstances should the users be allowed to climb on the structure whilst it is out of the water or not correctly anchored.

It is recommended that a signboard should be erected close to the front of the unit listing the above points and any specific rules of play.

Set down of aquarun/inflatable structure

    1. Check the Pool and the Inflatable Structure is clear from public and pool is empty.
    2. Undo anchor points.
    3. Check poolside and route from set up point to storage is clear of obstructions.
    4. Check poolside and route from set up point to store is clear and no hazards.
    5. Move inflatable onto side of pool by pool store ensuring there is not an obstruction.
    6. Wash down with fresh water.
    7. Clean with your preferred cleaning agent.
    8. Deflate aquarun structure.
    9. Roll away neatly and store in secure space.