Summer has arrived and temperatures are already creeping above 100-degrees. For residents of Phoenix, this means that it is time to dive into the pool. The city of Phoenix has more pools per-capita than any other city in the United States. This isn’t just backyard pools. This bounty of bodies of water includes public pools, water parks, neighborhood hot tubs, rec club athletic pools, and more. However, the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention have recently warned Phoenix residents to take care when utilizing public bodies of water.
This warning is basedon a 2013 CDC study which inspected the water quality at almost 49,000 venues in Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, and New York. According to the study, 80 percent of the locations had at least one code violation.
The code violations were wide ranging with the most common being uneven pH levels. Many facilities had additional issues with safety equipment and disinfectant concentrations.
Dr. Beth Bell, the director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said, “No one should get sick or hurt when visiting a public pool, hot tub, or water playground. That’s why public health and aquatics professionals work together to improve the operations and maintenance of these public places, so people will be healthy and safe when they swim.”
The CDC advises swimmers to bring their own pH test strips when they swim in public. These strips can quickly determine whether or not the body of water has appropriate pH and safe chlorine and bromine concentrations.
People are also advised to perform a visual check ensuring that the drain at the bottom of the pool is not blocked. As an additional note, only swim at a public pool when a lifeguard is present.