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Common Mistake Can Sicken Swimmers

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May 20, 2009

Pools and water parks are a part of summer fun, but maintenance and other safety mistakes could make swimmers sick.

“One of most common mistakes our inspectors see is not putting enough chlorine in the pool, which can lead to more germs that spread illness. We work with operators to correct problems, but the public is our partner in checking the pool area for safety as well,” said Jack Miller, the County Department of Environmental Health Acting Director.

Environmental Health officials recommend checking the chlorine levels using a kit that can be found at pool supply stores.

Other steps to stay safe and prevent illness in the pool:

• Check to see if pool equipment appears to be in working order; you should be able to hear pool pumps and filtration systems running.

• Make sure the pool water is clean and clear with little odor.

• Use good hygiene; shower before you swim, don’t swim if you have diarrhea and don’t change diapers on the pool deck.

• Keep an eye on children at all times; kids can drown in seconds and in silence.

The Department of Environmental Health inspects the more than 6,400 public pools in the county, and cooperates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in promoting National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week, which continues through Memorial Day.

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