Remote monitoring systems will be even smarter in the future. Manufacturers say that eventually, with the proper data input, the systems will be able to compute a pool’s Saturation Index.

Some of the SI formula variables — calcium hardness, TDS and total alkalinity — will need to be determined by taking actual water samples from the pool because no probes exist for these readings. These numbers can then be programmed into the controller. The rest of the variables can be read by the system remotely.

“Once the numbers are entered in, you can run the SI via the software in the controller,” says Bob Hedrick, a regional sales manager for Auburn, Calif.-based Acu-Trol. “You just have to make sure to update the TDS, TA and calcium numbers periodically.”

Hedrick also predicts that eventually controllers will be integrated with dispatch programs. The chlorine tanks will be equipped with a level sensor. When the level gets too low, an alarm will be set off. The controller will then automatically drop the pool where it best fits into the service technician’s route for the quickest response.

In addition, future remote monitoring systems will have the option of including video cameras. This will enable service techs to see what’s happening at the pool in real time.

“You’d have a panic button near the lifeguard stand that could interface with the video cameras, so you’d be able to see exactly what’s going on,” Hedrick says. “This could possibly roll an ambulance sooner, depending on the agreement between the facility and the responders.”