Public Pools Add Mandated New Safety Equipment - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/05/08 - Tyler

Public Pools Add Mandated New Safety Equipment

Public pools have been mandated to add new safety fixtures to help protect you. Some of that same safety equipment is available to private homeowners, and legislation is in the works to require it in private pools.

Today KLTV 7's Danielle Capper went out with health inspectors to see what they check for, and what you can do that could save a life.

Lisa land is out checking to see if the 165 public pools in Smith County are up to code.

"On the chlorine you have to be between 1 and 18 parts per million."

The federal law passed last December requires stricter pool standards, standards that have yet to be adopted in Texas for residential pools, but are mandated for public ones.

"Making sure that the water is clean and it doesn't cause a situation where people could catch a communicable disease from it. But we are also looking for the safety issues to make sure that the swimmers understand how deep the water is. Where they should or shouldn't dive," said Brenda Elrod.

The new law requires signs and markings inside and outside the pool, plus it takes a closer look at the pool's water suction.

"That the drains are properly protected so that a swimmer won't get trapped on that drain. There is so much suction."

The anti-vortex covers are now legally required for commercial pools and although they are not required for the one in your backyard they could save a life.

"It simply creates a situation where there is not a suction that would trap you on the bottom of your pool....you don't have that drain protected and somebody gets down there it could actually stick them to the bottom of the pool and drown them. Same in your home spa."

So even though it's not required for everyone with pools now...the small investment could make the rest of your summer a safe one.

The health district suggests to ask your pool maintenance company, the designer or the installer of your pool to see if it is up to the new code.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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