Keeping Public Swimming Pools Safe

It makes a hot summer vacation cool... but keeping the swim safe at a public pool is a very tough job.

"We've got about 140 pools here in Smith County, that are either public or semipublic," says Brenda Elrod, senior health inspector with Smith County.

All public pools are inspected. That includes apartment and club pools that must meet state standards. At Fun Forest Park in Tyler... inspectors got a refresher course Thursday.

"We're looking for water chemistry that the pool is nice and clear. Never swim if you can't see the bottom of the pool," says Elrod.

"If your facility operator is saying that you're making a mountain out of a molehill and you're like I'm the inspector and I think it's an issue, and that person insists on opening the pool, then that person doesn't have safety in mind." That's what inspectors heard from the Texas Department of Health's Katie Moore.

Inspectors look at whether it's safe out of the water as well... and so should parents.

Four inches is a national standard for head entrapment between gates, fences must be above 6' tall, and signs must be present.

And it's the inspectors right to close a non-compliant pool.

For a list of all the rules, click on Pool Rules... on the right side of this page.