CLAYTON, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — Few things are better than a good dip in the pool to cool off. Health inspectors want to make sure it doesn’t add to your misery, by making you sick.
Every swimming pool is a potential target for bacteria – from a baby diaper accident to someone who suddenly vomits. It may sound disgusting, but it’s reality.
St. Louis County Health Department’s Gerrin Cheek Butler said, “Fecal accidents happen more often than you would like to think in a pool uhm, and such that we have protocols already set up.”
Butler’s job is to make sure the swimming pool operators are cleaning it up. She’s the Environmental Program Manager for the St. Louis County Health Department.
The County keeps some reports online, showing a safety checklist (and results) ranging from a pool’s first aid kits to water clarity. But you won’t find bacteria reports, which have led to action against several County pools in the last couple weeks.
Butler said, “We close them immediately. They have to super chlorinate which means to put enough chlorine high enough to kill all the bacteria and then we re-sample and then they re-open and that usually takes three days.
The County was not prepared to share locations.
Butler responded, “This is the first time anybody’s ever asked us for [bacteria reports]. Ever.
Chris Hayes followed up, “Wo now how do you go forward with this, now that I’m asking you for it?” Butler said, “I think that now that people are wanting to know then maybe we need to come up with a way that we can do that.”
We’ve requested those reports and may get them next week.
St. Louis City reports no pool closures for bacteria problems. The City Health Director says she even recently asked her inspectors about the popular City Garden play fountains. She said they’ve passed regular inspections, despite the fact it’s packed with far more people than anyone expected.
Director Pamela Walker explained, “They shock the pool every morning to make sure all the viruses and bacteria are taken care of with chlorine. They test it daily, report that to us [and] we send it to a lab so we can monitor it.”
If you wondering about your pool, the quickest way to find answers may be to go straight to management; ask them to show you their latest inspection report. What happens next may be the best sign about the safety of your pool.
You can check pool inspection reports for St. Louis County Pools (not including bacteria reports) here: http://www.stlouisco.com/healthandwellness/foodandrestaurants/restaurantinspections
It’s the same database as County Restaurant inspections. You can type in the name of the pool or search other ways, such as by zip code.
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