Why You Might Want to Think Twice Before Hitting Up a Public Pool This Summer

The CDC just released some data you may want to keep in mind before hopping in the water at the pool or water park.

toddler on slide at waterpark
Photo: Shutterstock

It's almost Memorial Day weekend. And if your kids are anything like mine, that means one thing—it's time to swim!

But you might want to think twice before hitting up a public pool or waterpark. Because according to a new report from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of public aquatic venues inspected in 2013 had at least one violation—and one in eight were closed afterwards due to serious health and safety violations.


According to the CDC's report, the most common infractions included improper pH (the measure of the water's acidity), safety equipment violations, and erroneous disinfectant concentration.

"You take for granted that you're safe when you go to these facilities," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, told ABC News, adding that these types of safety offenses can result in infections and the spread of disease.

Scary stuff! Which is why Glatter says we should all be on high alert when visiting public pools. He added that there are some pretty basic steps we can take to lessen the risk of getting sick—things like asking a lifeguard or manager about maintenance, and looking around to survey the pool's cleanliness.

"If you can see the bottom when you [get to] the deep end," Dr. Glatter said, "it's a good sign."

To learn more about the proper operation, management, and maintenance of public pools, be sure to check out the CDC's recently released Model Aquatic Health Code guidelines.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on twitter at @holleewoodworld.

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