How clean is your pool? Most operators feel confident
when asked that question, but local inspections have
revealed some alarmingly unsafe pools, most often in places
such as apartment complexes and hotels.
In Los Angeles County, Calif., Los Angeles
Times staffers surveyed more than 16,000 pools
inspected by the county health department. Pools were in
all types of locations apartments, schools,
health clubs and hotels and the Times found 10
percent had been closed by inspectors at least once in the
past 3 1/2 years.
In visits to six of the eight pools with the most
violations, Times staffers discovered three with
?murky or green water.?
Kern County, Calif., inspection records show similar
results. Since May 2007, county officials have closed 15
percent of the approximately 875 pools (most at apartments
or homeowners associations) they inspected.
?We like to be as proactive as we can,?
said Guy Shaw, Kern County chief environmental health
specialist. He noted that violations range from poor water
quality to problems with ground fault circuit interrupters.
Shaw added that he sees problems in public pools, but most
are well- maintained.
Susan LaBay, environmental health training officer at
the Southern Nevada Health District, agreed:
?Usually [public pools] are fairly
The SNHD inspects nearly 5,000 Las Vegas County pools
?In the casino areas, we rarely get a closure;
they?re very proactive. Most problems happen in
apartment or HOA pools,? Labay said. She noted the
biggest violations are missing, broken or noncompliant
barriers, or noncompliant levels of disinfectant.
An investigation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, found
problems at public pools. Water samples from seven of 16
city-owned outdoor pools contained the bacteria
coliform, which can be found in fecal matter and
is commonly used to determine the sanitary quality of food