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Major Pool Code Violations Common in United States

12 percent of inspections in convenience sample resulted in immediate pool closure

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Swimming pool operation violations are relatively common in the United States, with almost one out of eight inspections resulting in immediate pool closure because of serious code violations, according to a report published in the May 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In an effort to assess pool code compliance, the CDC evaluated data from 121,020 routine pool inspections conducted by a convenience sample of 15 state and local agencies in 2008.

Of 111,487 inspections, the CDC found that 12.1 percent resulted in immediate pool closure because of major violations that threatened the public's health, such as lack of disinfectant in the water. In addition, 10.7 percent of 120,975 inspections identified disinfectant level violations, and 8.9 percent of 113,597 inspections identified pH level violations. Of 98,361 inspections, 35.9 percent identified circulation and filtration violations.

"Although these results likely are not representative of all pools in the United States, they suggest the need for increased public health scrutiny and improved pool operation," the authors write. "Collecting pool inspection data in a standardized, electronic format can facilitate routine analysis to support efforts to reduce health and safety risks for swimmers."

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Physician's Briefing