Swimmers should test the waters at public pools - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Don't dive in to a dirty pool

Public health agencies are advising swimmers to take a good look before diving into a public pool.

For some, it may take seeing a pool before opening for business to make swimmers want to be more aware about the waters that they're plunging in to.

Pool owners can be slow to apply for a health inspection before opening, because they can take up to four weeks to acquire.

Seeing the slow push by some to ensure that pools are clean, the Centers for Disease Control is now recommending people take the extra step to check pool cleanliness themselves, especially considering the fact that health departments are only required to check pools once a season.

Officials with the Pender County Health Department in North Carolina said that recommended water strips are very reliable, adding that the chlorine levels and pH parts of the strip are the most important parts to consider.

If chemical levels are off, the water can become easily contaminated, and one accidental gulp of water can lead to diarrhea, viral meningitis or other illnesses.

Environmental health specialists at the health department also said that even though a lot of people worry about urine in pools, urine is actually sterile and doesn't pose a health risk.

Also, if you smell something stronger than usual chlorine odor, it could be an indication that the water chemical levels are off.

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