CDC report on cleanliness of pools makes heads swim

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 80% of pools have at least one major health and safety violation

Not everyone can get to a beach or a river on a hot summer day, and as the temperatures climb more and more people will line up to cool off and relax at their local pool. Question is, will it be open, and if so, how clean is it?

According to, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that most pools in the United States couldn’t swim their way out of a paper bag when it came to passing health and safety inspections. 80% of pools were in deep water for at least one major violation, and one in eight resulted in closures until the problem can be resolved.

“No one should get sick or hurt when visiting a public pool, hot tub, or water playground,” said Dr. Beth Bell, who worked on the study and is part of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

The study, which was conducted using information from 2013 reports hailing from the five states that hold the greatest number of public pools. Over 84,000 inspection reports were combed through, and most places that were shut down were due to improper pH levels, safety equipment violations, and inadequate measures for disinfecting the premises.

As told by mother of three Heidi Baxter to WZTV, these violations can have serious consequences, as one of her children is still ill from visiting a pool that was closer to their family home.

“We drive about 30 minutes to get to this pool because it’s better than the one close to our house, one of which got sick from a dirty pool,” said Baxter. “She’s still coughing it’s been about seven, eight months she’s been to the doctor twice over it and it’s a chronic thing.”

The CDC recommends those who own pools or hot tubs test the waters frequently with test strips regularly, as well as maintain drain covers and safety equipment. The bottom of the pool should also be regularly inspected.

Of course, pool-goers can also do a few things to boost cleanliness.

“Washing yourself and taking a shower before you go in is really the most important thing and have one also when you get out,” Matthew McKenzie of Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tennessee. “And watch those kiddies; make sure they’re sanitary in the pool.”

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