Basic Pool Operation

The basic operation of a swimming pool requires an understanding of its structural components, systems, and the day-to-day actions required to ensure a healthful environment.


A swimming pool is an artificial basin of water designed primarily for recreational or competitive swimming. Most swimming pools consist of 5 structural components and automated systems:

  • A basin
  • A circulation system (pump, inlets, outlets, and plumbing)
  • A filtration system
  • A chemical feeder
  • A heater

These components and systems work together to maintain a clean, refreshing, healthful aquatic environment with good water quality free from bacteria and particulate matter. The following sections and links give more details:


Even with the best pool equipment, circulation/filtration systems, disinfectants, etc., a swimming pool requires the care of a dedicated pool/maintenance staff as well as conscientious pool users to be as clean as possible. Maintenance is a broad term that can be used to describe all the efforts made to improve swimming pool water quality.