Swimming Pool Pest Management - Category 5A (E2621)
The maintenance and operation of public swimming pools falls under the primary authority of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Health Division, formerly Public Health Department.
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The maintenance and operation of public swimming pools falls under the primary authority of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Health Division, formerly Public Health Department. Yet, Michigan Department of Agriculture regulates the use of pesticides, which includes some chemicals used in swimming pool maintenance. Therefore, public pool operations require that the owner and operator comply with both departments’ rules governing the safe and lawful operation of swimming pools.
This manual is intended to prepare pesticide applicators in category 5A, swimming pool pest management, for applicator certification under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451, Part 83, Pesticide Control. Read the introduction to this manual to understand your responsibilities for obtaining the appropriate credentials to apply pesticides safely, including some swimming pool chemicals, and how to use this manual.
Why Should Pesticide Applicators be Certified or Registered?
Pesticides are used to protect food and non-food crops, people, homes, swimming pools, animals, and various industrial processes. To best protect human health and the environment by assuring the safe use and application of pesticides, the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) administers the certification and registration program for pesticide applicators. Certification or registration requires obtaining the knowledge necessary to purchase and safely use pesticides. Because some of the chemicals used in pool maintenance and operations are pesticides this requires persons who handle and apply them to be certified or registered pesticide applicators. The following sections explain who must be certified or registered.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451, Part 83, Pesticide Control, requires any person who applies a pesticide product for a commercial purpose, or applies any pesticide in the course of his or her employment, or other business activity for any purpose other than a private agricultural purpose, to be either a commercially certified applicator or a registered technician. Exempt from the certification and registered technician requirements are those pesticide operations not required to be licensed by the Act and those applicators using general-use, ready-to-use pesticide products. For example, a person who works at a hospital, school, factory, golf course or an apartment complex that uses only a general use, ready-to-use pesticide products is not required to be a certified applicator or a registered technician. For more information, read the laws and regulations chapter of the Pesticide Applicator Core Training Manual (E-2195) or contact your local MDA office (see appendix I).
Certification of Commercial Applicators
To become certified as a commercial applicator in Swimming Pool Pest Management (Category 5A) in Michigan, you are required to successfully complete a written exam on the Core manual information from Part A (E-2195) and an exam on information found in this manual. Information found in the appendices is not covered on the MDA exams. Exam questions are based on information provided in this training manual developed by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and environmental sanitarians working in the swimming pool management industry.
This manual presents basic water chemistry parameters, pest management and pesticide handling information for persons managing bacteria, fungi, algae or viruses in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas and wading pools. This manual is self-teaching and contains learning objectives and review questions at the end of each chapter. It also explains the standards of knowledge required of registered technicians and commercial applicators for Category 5A, swimming pool pest management.
Recertification for Certified Commercial Applicators
Similar to a Michigan driver’s license, applicators are required to be recertified every three years. You can be recertified by one of two methods. With one method, you can request from the MDA to take a recertification exam that shows a sustained level of knowledge in proper pesticide use. Study manuals are available from MSU. With another method, you can attend approved seminars or workshops relating to swimming pool pest management and accumulate credits over the three-year period to satisfy the recertification requirements for category 5A. For specific information on recertification, contact your local MDA regional office.
To become a registered technician in Category 5A, you must successfully pass an exam based on Part A of the Pesticide Applicator Core Training Manual (E-2195) and participate in an approved training program specific to pool pest management. To receive a registered technician application form, contact your local MDA regional office.
Registered technician status is valid for three years. At the conclusion of the three-year registration period, the technician may renew the registered technician credential by examination and refresher training, or by accumulating a specific number of reregistration credits. Credits toward reregistration are earned by attending approved workshops and seminars during the three-year registration period. A registered technician also may choose to fulfill the requirements for becoming a certified commercial pesticide applicator instead of the registered technician credential.
Suggestions for Studying This Manual
The ten chapters in this manual are designed to assist commercial applicators to meet registered technician or certification requirements. You may already know some of the material from your experience with pesticides. Self-help questions are included at the end of each chapter, but they are not necessarily the questions on the certification exam. If you have problems using the manual, please consult your county Extension agent, your supervisor or a representative of the MDA for help.
The following are suggestions for studying this manual:
1. Find a place and time for study where you will not be disturbed.
2. Read the entire manual once to understand the scope and the manner in which the material is presented. A glossary at the back of the manual defines some of the terms used in the chapters.
3. Study one chapter at a time. Read the learning objectives to determine what critical information should be obtained from the chapter. Underline important points or take written notes as you study the chapter.
4. Answer, in writing, the review questions at the end of each chapter. Review the learning objectives and confirm that you have grasped the critical points from the text. These learning objectives and questions are intended to help you study and evaluate your knowledge of the subject.
5. When you have finished studying all of its sections, reread the entire manual once again. Review any sections that you feel you do not fully understand.
This manual is intended to help you use pesticides effectively and safely when they are needed. Review it occasionally to keep the material fresh in your mind.