A Letter to Our Legislators

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As our industry continues to respond and adapt to the COVID-19 shutdown, the government is also taking action: The federal, state and local governments are being pushed to classify industries as essential or non-essential. Those deemed as essential can continue to operate as business restrictions are put in place.

This morning, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance called on industry professionals to reach out to their lawmakers and tell our legislators that whether a company is providing pool maintenance and service, are currently constructing a pool or spa or are supplying sanitization and disinfection materials, they should be considered essential.

"The pool and spa industry is essential in preventing the transmission of infectious diseases, helping to maintain community health and ensuring public safety," says the PHTA.

Dan Lenz, vice president of All Seasons Pools and Spas and president of the PHTA Midwest Chapter, sent this letter to Wisconsin and Illinois legislators this morning.

 


 

Governor/Lieutenant Governor/Representative/Senator_____ ,

I currently serve as President of the Midwest Chapter of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, spa, and hot tub manufacturers, manufacturers’ agents, builders, designers, distributors, suppliers, installers, retailers, and service technicians. Our chapter represents the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.

As more information on COVID-19 is being disseminated by the federal, state and local governments, there has been a push to classify industries as essential or non-essential. Those deemed as essential can continue to operate as quarantines and restrictions are put in place.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, the World Health Organization states that controlling water quality is necessary to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.

PHTA firmly believes the companies that supply pool sanitization and disinfection materials (through manufacturing, distribution or retail stores), the companies that manage the maintenance of swimming pools, hot tubs and other artificial bodies of water and the companies currently constructing inground pools and spas are essential to preventing the transmission of infectious diseases, helping maintain community health, and ensuring public safety.

Without proper pool and hot tub maintenance (which includes circulation and treatment of water) various pathogens can grow, such as Pseudomonas, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Shigella, etc. It can also create a breeding ground for mosquitoes, other pests and the diseases they may carry, which presents a risk not only to bathers but to the entire community at large.

Additionally, it is critically important that active inground pool and spa projects be completed. Unfinished projects pose significant public safety risks as potential issues such as cave-ins and pool popping, as well as the dangers resulting from an active construction site. And, the impact of long-term exposure to the elements may result in the community health issues noted above.

As children and families across the country are being asked to reduce outside contact or even shelter at home, and with gyms and other public facilities closing, the backyard pool, spa or hot tub provides the ideal way for families to focus on their health and well-being. These pools and hot tubs should be properly maintained to ensure proper sanitation measures are taking place.

Working with our industry partners in New York, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order, No. 202.6 on March 18, 2020, classifying our industry as essential stating ‘Effective on March 20 at 8 p.m.: All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions. This includes essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals; essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services; news media; banks and related financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.’ (Found online here.)

I am writing to you today in advance, asking that should our area be confronted with the need to limit operation of non-essential businesses, that those businesses in our industry as identified above, be classified as essential to ensure the prevention of infectious disease growth and transmission of disease through otherwise un-sanitized and non-operable pools, and pool and hot tub construction sites.

Thank you for your support.
Dan

Dan Lenz – PHTA Midwest Chapter President
PHTA Certified Building Professional | PHTA Certified Service Professional | PHTA Certified Trainer
PHTA Service Council Chairman | PHTA Midwest Chapter Design Awards Committee Chair
PHTA Midwest Chapter President
[email protected]

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