CLEMMONS, NC -- Inspectors are out getting seasonal pools ready to open. One area they check is the water - testing it to make sure it won't make us sick. There is a fine line between chemicals that are too strong and burn us or chemicals that are too weak. Ken Bowyer, inspector with the Forsyth County Health Department, says "You have potential pathogens - germs - that are potentially in the pool. You want to make sure your disinfectant is at a level to kill the germs that could be in the pool."
Inspectors check the pools before they open and will check the pools one other time during the season. That leaves 100 plus summer days when nobody official is keeping an eye on them. So Ken says here's what you need check:
- Drain covers. Look for missing covers or ill-fitting ones can allow your child's hair or even their arm to get sucked into the opening. Ken says, "You can step into the water and gently nudge them with your foot. Make sure they don't move. Make sure all the screws are not rusty and that the covers are securely attached."
- Water clarity. If you can't see the bottom, Ken says don't get in. Two reasons: one - you can't see if someone is drowning. And the disinfectant levels may be off, so the germs aren't getting killed.
- You also want to make sure the pool has lifesaving equipment available like a life hook and make sure you know where the emergency telephone is.
- Only thing you can provide for pool safety: watching your children to make sure they're ok at all times.