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Broken Glass In The Swimming Pool: What Should You Do?


Broken Glass In My Pool, What Do I Do!?

The issue of broken glass in a swimming pool is every commercial pool operator's nightmare. Cuts related to broken glass in the pool or the pool area can spell major hassles for a property. The problem is particularly scary when the glass is broken in the pool itself, as it is nearly impossible to visually see the glass inside the water once the glass has been broken. It is even more impossible to detect glass if the shards have turned into slivers. So, what exactly is the best route to take when cleaning glass out of your pool? There are dozens of chat threads, web pages, and reddit pages devoted to this conversation, but none of them address how a commercial pool operator should react to this situation. In this week's article, we are going to explore what you should do when someone breaks glass in your swimming pool.


Where Did The Glass In My Pool Come From?

Glass that has broken in your pool can come from many various sources:

  • Beer and soda bottles
  • Food Containers
  • Glass Table Tops
  • Glassware
  • Overhead Lighting
  • Internal Swimming Pool Light(s)

As you can see, use of some of these sources of glass in the pool area are unavoidable, such as overhead lighting and your pool light. These necessary glass sources will generally be designed for aquatic use in mind, so there is much less worry with those sources. Please note, this isn't always the case. Any glass can break and poses a threat to your pool area when used around the pool. 

Beer bottles, glassware, and glass table tops should not be allowed any pool areas simply because of the highly probability that they will break at some point causing major issues for you as an operator.


Should I Vacuum The Glass Out Of My Pool?

There are numerous voice online that will suggest that you just vacuum the pool a few times and you are good to open the pool again. This couldn't be further from the truth. Vacuuming glass out of your pool is a very bad idea no matter what other sources tell you. Why is this such a bad idea? 

  1. You never know if you have truly removed all the glass from the pool
  2. Even if you are proactive and use vacuuming sock devices to prevent the glass from entering into your filter, shards can still make it into your filter, causing high risks of injury during filter cleaning
  3. If glass shards enter into a cartridge filter, the glass will tear the cartridges to shreds, requiring you to replace the cartridges
  4. The glass can find its way throughout your entire circulation system and get trapped in places. Once that glass gets "untrapped" it can easily find its way back out into your pool.

So now that we have established that vacuuming your pool is a very unsafe practice for both you and your guests, let's explore what you actually need to do to prevent broken glass-related injuries and complications.


Step 1: Stop Circulation

Once you have heard that glass has broken inside of your pool, be sure that you immediately turn off all of your pumps in the pool or hot tub. You do not want any of the glass getting into the circulation system whatsoever, if you can at all avoid it. 


Step 2: Drain Your Pool

Yes, this sounds like a crazy huge hassle, and to be honest it is, but according to commercial pool and spa industry standards, draining your pool is a must. Be sure to use a sump pump to drain your pool instead of the main drain so you can ensure that none of the glass is getting into the circulation system. 


Step 3: Let The Pool Dry Out Completely

This is the longest step in the process depending on where you are located. Dry climates don't have to wait too long for that surface to dry out completely, whereas more humid climates may need to wait longer for the surface to dry long enough to perform the next step. Fans may aid in drying if you are needing to speed up the process. Please also note that if you do not let the pool surface dry completely, the next steps will be much more difficult and could prove to be unsuccessful. 


Step 4: Sweep The Entire Pool 

Again, this is tedious and a little stressful but it is absolutely crucial in making sure you are getting as much of the big debris out of the pool as possible. Sweep the broken glass into a dust pan or grab a shop vac and vacuum the glass pile up. To be totally honest, it is considered a best practice to repeat this step a few times to ensure you have all the big pieces taken care of. 


Step 5: With A Shop Vac, Vacuum The Entire Pool

This step is crucial in ensuring that you were able to remove and slivers, chunks, specks, or chips of glass from the pool's surface. Again, it is highly recommended that you repeat this step a few times to ensure you have gotten all of the glass remnants. Please also note that you will need to be mindful of where you have vacuumed and where you have not yet vacuumed as it can be very difficult, nigh impossible, to see where you've vacuumed previously. 


Step 6: Refill, Balance The Water, and Re-open The Pool 

Now that you have done everything within your power to get the broken glass out of the pool, you are free to open the pool again. 

Please keep in mind that this is the best practice for removing the glass from the pool itself. If you feel glass may have entered into your circulation equipment, then you will need to take action to prevent any potential injuries. In this case, please contact us here to give you further advice on the cleaning of the glass from the system. 


How Do I Learn More? 

As a commercial or semi-commercial operator, there is is so much to you need to know about keeping your pools and spas safe and healthy. The best way for you to become a more knowledgable pool professional is to sign up for a Certified Pool Operator Course through Pool Training Academy. Pool Training Academy is ranked the #1 CPO® Certification Program in the world and our highly skilled team of Certified Pool Operator® Instructors are eager to help you learn everything you need to know about your pool and hot tub. You can find a CPO® Class near you by clicking here

1 Response

Anne Whitehurst M

Anne Whitehurst M

July 25, 2023

Is there a law against glass in public pools in CA?

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