CDC report raises alarms about public pool cleanliness - FOX Carolina 21

CDC report raises alarms about public pool cleanliness

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80 percent of tested public pools were contaminated, according to the CDC (FOX Carolina) 80 percent of tested public pools were contaminated, according to the CDC (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Before you take a dip this summer, consider this: While you may be swimming for recreation and exercise, national data show something else may be lurking in the water.

A new CDC report is raising alarms ahead of Memorial Day;  Of nearly 50,000 pools tested in five states - not including SC - 80 percent had at least one violation.

One in eight of those pools had to close down. 

Numbers FOX Carolina obtained from DHEC show last year in South Carolina 51 percent of pools passed inspection, while 49 percent were substandard. 

"We test our water probably anywhere from 5 to 10 times a day," said Mervyn Faassen de Heer, facilities manager at Greenville County Recreation District. 

At Westside Aquatic Center in Greenville, staff are extra cautious about keeping clean. 
Underneath the facility, there is a huge operation, where multiple times a day, staff take samples of pool water and test the pH and chlorine levels.

"We even have the latest technology where it will actually alert us to our cell phone or give us an e-mail if we are not here, to say there's something wrong," said Faassen de Heer. 

The ground rules for healthy swimming can simply be found in the pool rules themselves: Anyone with diarrhea or a cold shouldn't take a dip. 

Also, staff says they encourage everyone to shower before entering the water.

"No one wants to swim in a dirty pool," said lifeguard Grant Smith, who says one of his jobs is to make sure nothing from the bathroom gets tracked into the pools. 

"We do bathrooms at the end of the day," he said. 

Pool operators said they urge swimmers to watch for discoloration or cloudiness in the water, and to alert a lifeguard if they see it. Cloudiness or discoloration, they said, can indicate contamination. 

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