There is an abundant number of swimming pools in the United States. Indeed, according to the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, there is approximately one swimming pool for every 31 people in the country. The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance is an organization that exists to promote “safe and healthy pool and hot tub environments for people to share enjoyable aquatic experiences.”
According to the organization, there are:
- 10.7 million swimming pools in the United States
- 10.4 million of these swimming pools are in residential locations
- 309,000 are public swimming pools
Due to the significant number of public swimming pools located throughout the United States, it is important for facility operators as well as members of the community to understand the best public swimming pool safety practices.
Ensuring Essential Public Swimming Pool Safety
The American Red Cross had delineated essential steps that must be taken in order to optimize safety at public swimming pools. These non-negotiable safety practices include:
- Always directly supervise young children in the pool.
- Teach children to swim beginning by the age of five years old.
- Post appropriate warning signs near the pool advising of potential dangers.
- Ensure proper fencing surrounds the pool.
- Install a safety cover over your pool.
- Have basic rescue and life-saving equipment readily at hand.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Swimming Pool Safety Guidance
Beyond protecting pool users and staff from drowning, deck slip and fall, and other accidents of this nature, the public must be protected against the spread of dangerous pathogens (germs) that can result in serious illness and even death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides public swimming pools with guidance regarding the best safety practices to protect the health of the public, of visitors to a facility.
CDC swimming pool safety guidance can be distilled into 17 key elements that we present here for your consideration.
- Obtain state or local authority-recommended operator and chemical handling training for all public swimming pool staff responsible for maintaining water safety.
- Ensure that appropriately trained operation staff are consistently present at a public swimming pool site during the weekends when pools are used most.
- Maintain free chlorine levels continuously between one to three parts per million.
- Maintain the pH level of the water at 7.2 to 7.8.
- Test pH and disinfectant levels at least twice per day (or hourly if a pool is in heavy use).
- Maintain accurate records of disinfectant and pH measurements as well as maintenance activities.
- Maintain filtration and recirculation systems according to manufacturer specifications.
- Ensure cleanliness and safety of restrooms, showers, and diaper changing areas.
- Enforce bather load limits, meaning the number of people in a public pool at any one time.
- Regularly scrub pool surfaces to remove any slime layer.
- Drain and replace portions of the water on a weekly to monthly basis, depending on usage and water quality.
- Treat the pool with a biocidal shock treatment on a daily to weekly basis, depending on water quality and frequency of water replacement.
- Institute a preventative maintenance program to replace equipment or parts before they fail.
- Provide disinfection guidelines to staff members for fecal accidents and body fluid spills.
- Develop employee policies for staff who are ill with recreational water illnesses, including diarrhea.
- Implement large group orientations, particularly for young children, and bathroom break policies to promote healthy swimming and water recreation.
- Educate pool users and parents about recreational water illnesses (like diarrhea) and appropriate pool use (like no swimming when ill with diarrhea).
Legal Rights After Sustaining a Public Swimming Pool Drowning Accident, Other Aquatic Injury, or Illness
The grim reality is that every year scores of people lose their lives in public swimming pool drowning accidents. Moreover, there are individuals who become severely and sometimes even fatally ill as a result of public swimming pool recreational water illnesses. If you or a loved one have been injured in a public swimming pool drowning accident or some other type of incident, contact The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 to learn more about and to protect your legal rights.A nationwide law firm, we will schedule an in-person or virtual initial consultation with an experienced attorney. There is no charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a lawyer from our form. Indeed, The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise: We will never charge an attorney fee in your case unless we win for you.