Summertime Pool Safety Alerts

July 15th, 2012

Even in the South, the swim season peaks in the summertime, and that’s when we hear about issues with pool safety.  There are many safety issues, from improper equipment and fencing to poor emergency response systems, but the most important issues are health-related.  Inspectors find too many pools that are not properly sanitized.

Inspections Lead to Pool Closures

Most public pools, including those in motels, hotels, apartments and clubs, are inspected by public health officials, although this may not happen very often.  Sometimes, pools are actually closed because they are unsafe.  For home pool owners, these may not seem directly important, but the issues they find are relevant for residential pools as well.

For example, the inspectors in Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth) have found pools with inadequate chlorine or improper chemical balance.  These maintenance issues are the same as those faced by residential pool owners, and they can only be solved by an effective pool sanitation program like the one DEL recommends for residential pool owners.

Residential Pools DO Have Sanitation Issues

In case you thought that the nice neighborhood kids who use your pool would never pee in it, think again.  Research by the Water Quality & Health Council has found that 1 in five adults admit to peeing in the pool on occasion, and it’s not likely the number is lower for kids.  There’s something about being in water that frees the bladder!

Luckily, ozone oxidizes the chemicals in urine that can interact with chlorine to create the more dangerous chloramines.  In addition, an ozone based sanitation program which combines a properly sized ozone generator with a residual level of chlorine (about 1/3 as much chlorine as a chlorine only pool), will be effective against the more powerful threats to your swimmers’ health, including Cryptosporidium.

Always remember:  people use pools, and people carry germs and contaminants that can infect other people.  There’s no getting around that, but a good sanitation program can counteract it.

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