The cost of remote monitoring technology is still relatively expensive, which is probably why its strongest market is in commercial and public pools.
The cost of the actual controller, software and ancillary equipment can range from $5,000 to $8,000, depending on the level of bells and whistles that are included.
Aquatic Quality Assurance, based in Carlsbad, Calif., has devised two approaches to its billing: Either sell the equipment to the client outright, which would result in a smaller monthly service fee, or maintain ownership of the equipment and charge the customer more.
The latter method is most popular, says Stephen Neville, AQA’s senior project manager. In such cases, he says, if a customer’s service contract is $200 a month, for example, the company will add another $75 to monitor it.
After the system has been sold and installed, some companies give clients the option of monitoring the pool themselves. Or they can turn it over to the service contractor.
“Most of them prefer that we perform the monitoring,” says Michael Diaz, owner of Berry Pool & Supply in Brownsville, Texas. “We charge them a monthly service fee, which usually includes a flat rate for chemicals.”
That rate depends on the pool in question. Diaz says he considers factors such as the pool’s size, its bather load and location.
“We look at things such as if it is a hotel and when its busy season is, and what its occupancy rate is,” he says.
“Or is it a resort and heavily occupied year ’round? Or is it a retirement community with little bather load?”
Diaz’s clients can choose between paying a flat fee that doesn’t include chemical costs — they’re added separately — or one where the chemicals are already included. The flat rate averages in the $225 range, while his customers will pay an average of $425 a month on contracts that include the chemicals.