How Clean Is Our Dive Centre?
We don't often talk about our standard operating procedures in the dive centre - it's not exactly riveting reading! We ummed and aahhed over posting this because we know there's so much information about Corona Virus clogging up your news feed right now.
However, we decided to share our cleaning practises with you because we want you to know that your safety is important to us. That's pretty obvious when it comes to diving, but there are a lot of things we do behind the scenes for your safety and comfort that you might not realise.
How Clean Is Our Scuba Gear?
There's been a lot of chat recently about the safety of using rental scuba diving equipment. We think you'll agree that our school gear is top quality - we look after it really well too! We've always had a standard operating procedure for cleaning and equipment hygiene, you just might not know about it! We're governed by certain rules, regulations and guidelines and in light of recent circumstances, we're increasing the frequency of our routine cleaning tasks to minimise any risks to our divers.
As required under our HSE guidelines, all equipment is soaked and cleaned in a disinfectant solution between each use. We use a bactogard industrial solution which has been approved for use in all leisure centres, hospitals, care homes, schools etc. Plus it smells really nice!
- All our neoprene exposure protection (think wetsuits, hoods, gloves, boots etc) are soaked after each use. You'll notice that we have a dedicated tank for this in the dunking area. There's two types of scuba divers - those who wee in their wetsuits and those who lie about it... so that's one reason to keep neoprene separate, right?!
- All our regulators, masks and snorkels also have their own dunk tank. This has a slightly higher concentration of disinfectant as this is the stuff that we're using in our mouths and on our faces. We all know that scuba diving can be one of the less glamorous sports in terms of erm... mucus? This video demonstrates it beautifully!
- All the rest of the equipment (fins, computers etc) are usually just soaked in a fresh water tank but with the recent issues, this now contains disinfectant too.
- Our regulator mouthpieces are anti-microbial so don't allow any bacteria growth.
- Our xDeep wings have an internal bladder that is also lined with an antibacterial material. We thoroughly rinse these with a disinfectant solution on a daily basis, but we've decided to increase this to after each use.
- We don't spit in our school masks... gross right?! Instead we use our magic spray at the tank side, but even better than that is our favourite new mask defog gel. Check out Stream2Sea's latest eco friendly product. It's reef friendly and non toxic. Even the packaging is made from sugar cane resin and is recyclable! We've got some in stock in the dive centre now, and it's coming soon to The Honest Diver Supply Co website.
How Clean Is Our Training Tank?
The tank water is considered a low risk environment due to the chlorine levels as the COVID-19 can't grow in water but any bacteria would be killed with chlorine. We monitor the tank levels every week.
We've got a sand filter which is constantly running, pulling the water through to be cleaned plus we regularly hoover the bottom of the tank to suck up any debris (we're always looking for more volunteers!)
How Clean Are Our Bathrooms?
Nic is pretty OCD about our changing rooms. We make it a priority to keep them as clean as possible.
- Bathrooms are given a once over each morning.
- Shower areas are cleaned and dried after each use, but we have decided to use an additional disinfectant spray as part of our cleaning routine just for extra precaution.
- Floors are mopped after each use with a disinfectant solution and are steam mopped as part of our deep cleans.
- Bathroom deep cleans are carried out at least once a week or more if it's been particularly busy.
What's Going To Happen If Corona Gets Worse?
We're lucky so far that there's been no cases of Corona Virus in Northumberland. Just like everyone else, we're waiting to be told what to do by the powers that be. We've carried out risk assessments to make sure that we keep our divers as safe as possible.
If the UK ends up going down a similar route to Italy, where shops are closed down and people aren't allowed to gather together, we'll have to reassess the situation.
And just like you guys, we're monitoring ourselves too. As scuba divers, we're all taught that we shouldn't dive if we're not feeling up to it. There's always another day. As always, just let us know if you're not feeling well and we can rearrange your dives.... keep that lurgy to yourselves!
Hopefully the team won't get poorly. One of the downsides of running a small business is that there's no one to cover if we get sick! I guess we'll cross that bridge should we ever come to it and keep you all updated.