CDC issues guidelines for public pool safety

Atlanta – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published new guidelines intended to keep swimmers at public pools safe and healthy.

CDC said the document was designed to inform individuals, pool operators and local health departments about pool safety because no federal regulatory agency is responsible for aquatic facilities.

The agency said the number of pool-associated outbreaks, mostly of diarrhea, have increased sharply during the past two decades. CDC’s most recent data shows that from 2009 to 2010, outbreaks at 57 pools caused more than 1,000 people to be sick and sent 40 swimmers to the hospital.

Meanwhile, improperly used pool chemicals also pose dangers. About 5,000 people went to the emergency department in 2012 because of injuries involving pool chemicals, CDC states.

CDC also listed 19 “imminent health hazards” in the guidelines that would require immediate pool closure if they were not corrected. The hazards include:

  • Failure to continuously operate filtration and disinfection equipment
  • A pH level below 6.5 or above 8.0
  • Failure to maintain an emergency lighting source
  • Absence of depth markings or improper depth markings
  • Unprotected electrical wires within 20 feet horizontally of aquatic venue