Investigation: How Safe Is Your Community Pool?
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) —
Is that community pool you and your kids are swimming in, safe?
The answer may surprise you.
KMPH News Reporter Erik Rosales' investigation surprised Clovis resident Joe Orosco and his family.
They had been waiting for the pool to reopen at his mobile home complex.
Reporter Erik Rosales asks, "How did it look before?"
Joe Orasco says, "Kind of like a light green."
The gate to his pool was not locked, so he thought it was open and his granddaughter jumped in.
However, when KMPH News Reporter Erik Rosales showed him a recent Fresno County Department of Public Health 'pool inspection report', which found the water did not even contain enough chlorine to register during the test, while the p-h level was off the chart.
Besides the cloudy water, the inspector also says the flow meter was stuck, and skimmer parts were missing, which means the water wasn't being cleaned and filtered as it was supposed to be and the pool was ordered closed.
Joe got his granddaughter out.
Inspector Gary Chugg says, "If someone has diarrhea or something else if they go into the water they can get everyone else sick."
Gary Chugg, is one of a mere 26 Environmental Health inspectors in Fresno County.
Inspectors responsible for some 1,300 community pools outside of apartments, condominiums, hotels and even parks, and that is not all.
Director of Environmental Health for Fresno County, Glenn Allen says, "Our inspectors do a variety of things, everything from consumer food protection, like inspecting restaurants. We do many housing complaints, a lot of trash complaints, you name it. A wide variety, we are busy."
Municipal pools should be inspected twice a year.
A schedule Allen says his inspectors are keeping.
Erik Rosales' investigation found dozens of pools with serious health violations, involving a lack of chlorine, algae, even debris and cloudy water.
Doctors say most people who get sick from bacteria in community pools never report it to the county, resulting in a lack of accurate numbers of illnesses from using public pools.
Inspectors say if you notice a community pool with a problem, report it.
So what can you do to protect yourself, inspectors say before and after swimming in any community pool you should take a shower. Also, if you eat anything around the pool, wash your hands. Most importantly, never swallow any of the water, even a little bit if the chemicals aren't right can get you sick.