(WSPA) – Most of the pools in the Upstate will be open in just three weeks.
As we head into the summer swimming season, there are some safety issues you may want to consider.
We’re not talking about the obvious, like the dangers of drowning, but the stuff that you can’t see in the water that could make you sick.
Check in on any neighborhood pool this week and you’re bound to see a whole lot of sweeping, gurgling, unclogging, and more sweeping.
Parents are pumped for a change of pace.
“We are just so excited the pool’s almost open,” says Melanie Cabaniss.
But often they are not aware of the dangers lurking in the water that lacks proper treatment.
“People have gotten extremely sick, vomiting, stomach illnesses,” says general manager of Sweetwater Pools, Paul Pillsbury.
Pillsbury and his crew are in the business of knowing how to stop these community hot spots from becoming breeding grounds for bacteria.
“We test for chlorine, we test for pH level, we test for our total alkalinity,” says Pillsbury.
They use a regimen of 5 to 6 additives to make sure the water is safe.
“If one gets thrown off out of our main corp of 6,” Pillsbury adds, “then it kind of causes a chain reaction affect and that’s also when bacteria tends to multiply.”
When that happens, you’ll know it.
“Multiple people ending up with ear infections, upset stomachs, nasal congestion.”
Last year, a teenager died from a brain-eating amoeba at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. But these kinds of cases are very rare.
Still, you don’t have to wait until the water becomes cloudy or greenish to check up on pool maintenance.
All commercial pools must have a log that you can access required by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. This log keeps track of all the testing done on that pool every day.
“It’s really important and something that I haven’t given much thought of but obviously I need to with them [kids] being so active in the pool this summer,” Cabaniss says.
It’s not just the chemicals to keep an eye on, the filters being clear and in working order also play a big part in the safety of the water.