How Clean Are Public Pools in San Diego?
Taking a dip in a public pool can be one of the easiest ways to cool down during a sweltering San Diego summer, but at what cost? According to a report from NBC, three out of four pools in San Diego received notices of health and safety violations in the previous six months. More than 600 pools in the area total received official violation notices and had to close their doors. Swimming in an unsafe pool could result in serious illnesses and injuries. Here’s what city residents should know before taking the plunge.
Vermin and Animal Contamination
Based on data from county pool inspection records, more than 30 local pools and spas failed safety inspections for having “vermin and animal” problems. This could mean having rats in or near the water, as well as other animals contaminating the waters and/or chewing on pool elements. Pool owners have a duty to install fences, gates, and other barriers to prevent animals and vermin from entering the pool.
Swimming in water that an animal has contaminated could lead to contracting diseases. Raccoon feces, for example, can contain worms that can infect humans (especially children) and cause neurological illness. It’s never safe to swim in water that has contained dead animals or animal excrement, even if the pool contains chlorine. If a swimmer contracts an illness after being in pool water with an animal contaminant, the pool owner could be liable.
At least 50 pools in the San Diego area failed their inspections for not meeting the requirements of a “healthful, safe, and sanitary” pool. These violations can relate to a number of factors that make pools unreasonably dangerous for swimmers, including improper levels of pool chemicals, algae or mold growth, fungus, bacteria, and contaminants such as human excrement.
One pool in the Mission Greens apartment complex received 13 different violations in the past six months, and two others had to be shut down for incorrect levels of chlorine and bromine. Maintaining safe and sanitary water in public pools requires constant upkeep. If a public pool owner does not dedicate enough time or energy to keeping the water clean, it can lead to dangerous pollutants and illnesses.
The residents of Mission Greens have had mixed reactions to the news that the pool has had so many violations in such a short period of time. Some say they have concerns for their families’ safety, while others say they’ve seen management trying to take care of the issues and have faith that the property owners will keep working until they resolve the problems for good.
Lack of Proper Safety Signs
The majority of the San Diego public pool violations cited swimming pools for failing to post the proper signage to keep swimmers safe. Public pools should have signs warning visitors of hazards such as slippery surfaces, areas of the pool deck that are unsafe for the public, and water levels that aren’t safe for diving. Failing to have the right signs could lead to preventable accidents and injuries.
Be Careful in Pools Anywhere
The issues with public pools aren’t only in San Diego. Pool problems exist nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC collected data from 84,187 pool inspections across five states and found that almost 80% had at least one health and safety violation.
One in eight violations required the pool to shut down immediately for serious health concerns. Wading and kiddie pools accounted for the highest number of closures. The most common violation was improper pH balance. Before you get into a public pool, review its latest safety inspection to make sure there is nothing seriously amiss.
If you or a family member suffer any injuries or illnesses while at a public pool in San Diego, discuss your case with an injury lawyer in San Diego. The property owner or the city could be legally responsible for your damages if it was negligent in failing to prevent them.