In an effort to protect individuals from drowning or recreational water illness hazards, some water-safety organizations are advising consumers to check any pool – public or residential – before diving in.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Swimming Pool Foundation, and the Water Quality and Health Council have issued press materials outlining visual inspection procedures and encouraging swimmers to use test strips. The steps for visual inspection include making sure the water is clear enough for one to see the main drain; that drain covers look secure; that a lifeguard is available or, alternatively, that safety and rescue equipment is accessible and that the area is free of strong odors. They say water should be tested to ensure the chlorine and pH levels are acceptable.

The WQHC, an organization sponsored by the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council, will even send test kits to those who send in a request, through its Healthy Pools campaign.