How to tell if a pool is unsafe
Posted On June 18, 2021
A new report has identified more than 1,000 pools that are unsafe for swimming.
It was compiled by the American Association of Pool Professionals and released on Wednesday.
It found that of the 1,024 pools tested, just three were deemed safe to swim in.
“It’s important to note that pool safety is a critical public health issue, and we have been calling on the federal government to address this urgent issue,” said JoAnn Miller, president of the Association of American Pool Professioners.
Miller said the numbers released Wednesday by the association are the highest since it began tracking pool safety in the late 1990s.
More than half of the pool’s owners are registered with the Association, which has also identified more pool-related deaths than the U.S. population.
The Association’s report identified about 6,300 pools that have been deemed unsafe to swim, and about 3,700 that have not been properly inspected or inspected multiple times.
Most of those were found to have “significant deficiencies in water quality, including inadequate and inadequate monitoring of water quality by operators, inadequate equipment for proper filtration, improper treatment of waste, and inadequate maintenance.”
Many of those deficiencies were found in areas where water quality was at the worst in years, including some areas with low rainfall, according to the report.
The report also found that nearly three-quarters of the water in the most polluted areas was not safe to drink.
“This is a problem that is getting worse every day, and it’s getting worse at an alarming rate,” Miller said.
“In the next several years, we’re going to have more and more people who can’t swim and die because of it.”
Some states are already taking steps to improve the safety of pool water.
Earlier this month, the American College of Sports Medicine issued guidelines for the disinfection of pool equipment.
The group said it would recommend that all pools be cleaned to a “low-risk level” to prevent the spread of infections from people who are in close contact with the water.
Miller noted that the report doesn’t include the number of unsafe pools in the country.
She said the pool owners should look for signs that the pool is at risk, such as the absence of filtrates in the water or the pool not being cleaned after an accident.
If any of the pools are deemed unsafe, they should be closed.
Miller also said that it’s important for pool owners to know how much chlorine they should use in their pools.
“We want them to use the lowest amount of chlorine that they can afford,” she said.
Miller pointed out that the American Health Care Foundation, an advocacy group, has also issued a report that said pool chlorine levels are falling.
The pool safety group said its research found that chlorine levels fell in pool systems in 15 states in 2016, and in all of those states, chlorine levels were below recommended levels.