“Looking for Trouble—Seeing Eye to Eye with Health Inspectors” is a NACCHO report on U.S. aquatic venue inspections, findings, and recommendations. Produced in partnership with Axiall Corporation’s Water Treatment Products Group, the report details the comprehensive survey of aquatic health officials across the United States NACCHO conducted last year. The survey explored protocols and experiences in inspecting recreational water facilities, providing insights into commercial pool inspections as well as recommendations on how pool operators can avoid violations and potential shutdowns.
Three hundred local health departments participated in the survey; notable results identify the types of aquatic venues with the highest turnover rates and the highest number of violations. Particularly illuminating findings show that:
- 75% of responding local health departments reported a commercial pool shutdown within the past two years;
- 32% of respondents reported always finding violations in apartment complexes; and
- 36% reported that hotel/motels have the most water quality violations.
The report also includes a number of recommendations for keeping track of chemical issues, ensuring equipment maintenance, staying informed with new codes such as the Model Aquatic Health Code, and generally performing successful inspections.
Because local health departments are typically tasked with enforcing aquatic facility ordinances, officials are key in proactively providing water quality guidance and education to pool owners and operators, and ensuring all community partners are in compliance. Further, health department expertise can be helpful to those facilities that see higher employee turnover, such as hotels, motels, and apartment complexes. Health officials, in conjunction with pool operators, can use the “Looking for Trouble” report to help educate the general public on safe and hygienic swimming practices throughout the entire swimming season.