STATES CHRONICLE – A recent report deemed the majority of public pools to be unsafe for the health of the unaware users. Nearly eight in ten pools violated at least one safety rule.
A study called “Immediate Closures and Violations Identified During Routine Inspections of Public Aquatic Facilities — Network for Aquatic Facility Inspection Surveillance” has been published yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study covered the year 2013 (we’d love to find out how many of that year’s findings have changed three years later) and inspected 48,632 public pools a total number of 84,187 times in New York, California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas.
As much as 12 percent of the inspections found serious issues that resulted in the immediate closure of the pool facility. They discovered volatile chemicals that irritate the eyes and respiratory tract, fecal matter, and the “wonderful” parasite Cryptosporidium, which causes diarrhea, malaise nausea, and in severe cases weight loss.
Small children who don’t yet dominate their toileting skills and people suffering from diarrhea are probably the ones infecting the water. The agency advises people not to go swimming while they are still recovering from diarrhea and parents to take their children often to the bathrooms.
The majority of the public pools had problems with pH level, safety equipment, and the concentration of disinfectants. The worst news is that only 68 percent of the local US health agencies license and inspect public aquatic facilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise us to purchase test stripes that could measure the pH and disinfectant levels of the water. A safe and healthy water would have a pH level of between 7.2 and 7.8, and the concentration of chlorine should be three parts per million in a hot tub and one ppm in regular pools. The bromine level must be 4ppm in a hot tub and 3ppm in a pool.
These test stripes can be bought from a regular pool supply and hardware store.
Swimming is a popular pastime in our country. The Census Bureau reported that while more than 50 million Americans are going swimming at least six times a year, the infected public pools could make a lot of people suffer serious consequences.
Image source: Wikimedia