CDC: Public Pools Fail 4 out of 5 Safety Inspections

And it's even worse for kiddie pools
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2016 4:26 PM CDT
CDC: Public Pools Fail 4 out of 5 Safety Inspections
A dog hangs onto the edge of the Helene Madison Pool during an open dog swim in 2014 in Seattle, Wash.   (AP Photo/, Jordan Stead)

The CDC wants Americans to know the risks when they hop in the pool this summer—and they're not talking about those embarrassing air bubbles that escape your swimsuit sometimes. According to a report released Thursday, more than 84,000 routine inspections of more than 48,500 pools, hot tubs, and water parks in 2013 across five states turned up at least one violation 79% of the time. Approximately 12% of the time, the violation was serious enough to close the pool. The most common violations were problems with the pool's pH level, safety equipment, and concentration of disinfectants, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Washington Post, the problems were worst with kiddie pools, which had to be closed following approximately 20% of their inspections.

These violations can have serious health repercussions. Between 3,000 and 5,000 people had to be treated for issues related to pool chemicals between 2003 and 2012, according to the CDC. There were approximately 650 outbreaks of infections or diseases related to pools reported to the CDC between 1978 and 2012. "The findings of this report underscore the need to improve the operation and maintenance of US public aquatic facilities to prevent illness and injury,” the Times quotes Thursday's report. The CDC recommends pool users bring their own test strips to measure a pool's pH and disinfectant levels before swimming. “No one should get sick or hurt when visiting a public pool, hot tub, or water playground,” ABC News quotes a CDC statement as saying. (More swimming pool stories.)

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