While all state-regulated swimming pools, spas, and aquatic centers are required to be closed — draining the water out is not recommended, as that can damage the structure. In addition, public health officials say it is much safer and more cost-effective to keep swimming pool or spa equipment operating and the water chemically balanced. Circulation systems keep filtering and disinfecting the water. It all prevents mold, algae, and biofilms from forming in the structure.
The governor ordered aquatic centers to close to the public on March 17th and swimming pools and spas were required to close at 10 p.m. Sunday.
Advisory from Iowa Department of Public Health below:
The State of Public Health Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds on March 17, 2020, required that all aquatic centers shall be closed effective Noon on March 17, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020. The Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds on March 22, 2020, required that all remaining swimming pools and spas shall be closed effective 10:00 pm on March 22, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020. Failure to abide by the requirements of the order is a misdemeanor.
While all regulated swimming pools and spas through the state are required to be closed it does not require shutting down the recirculation systems and draining the swimming pools and spas. Rather it means you cannot allow bathers in the pool and associated facilities. In most cases it is much safer and more cost effective to keep the swimming pool or spa equipment operating and water chemically balanced to prevent damage to the pool/equipment, and to prevent biofilm, mold, algae or other outbreaks.
• Do not drain the pool, this can damage the pool plaster or can damage the pool structure particularly in areas of high water table.
• Keep the recirculation system operating. If pumps are equipped with variable speed drives, the speed can be turned down, but it is important to keep circulating, filtering and disinfecting the water.
• Keep water balanced and chlorinated to prevent biofilm, mold and algae from forming.
• Keep up on basic maintenance and repairs to prevent more expensive damage or issues.
• If the pool, piping, and equipment are located indoors the pool water heaters can be turned off or the temperature setpoint lowered.