A warning before you head to the pool this summer. Cuts at the state's health agency mean fewer inspectors checking to make sure your local pool is following the rules and the water is okay.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control does random inspections about twice a summer.
This year 18 inspectors have the task of checking out some 6,000 pools across South Carolina. That number is down from 33 inspectors in 2009.
Last year, the state shut down more than 3 thousand pools, for a number of reasons like log books not being filled out, or an emergency phone not working. About 17 hundred of those closures were for chlorine or bromine.
We found local pools taking extra steps to keep you safe.
Dean Batson, Aquatics Facility Operator at Greenville County Recreation District showed us how they test the water.
"Monitoring those levels is awful important," Batson explained. "I go out and I check three times a day, manually, with a test kit."
At the same time, they're testing it with computers, making sure the ph and chlorine levels are okay on the spray pad, pool, and slides at Otter Creek.
Keeping those levels in check - kills off the germs.
"Just getting into the pool is going to bring the germs that people carry on their body every day, so the chlorine levels need to be monitored at times really," Batson said.
At the YMCA of Greenville, Aquatics Coordinator Nicole Stein tells us they test the levels often.
"The pool every two hours, and the hot tub and sauna every two hours," Stein explained as she showed us the logs where they write down the levels. "Groups of 50 kids come in to swim, we'll check it right after just to make sure the chlorine and ph levels are where they're supposed to be."
It's the same protocol at all four pool facilities maintained by the YMCA of Greenville.
"We want everyone to come and enjoy the water," she said.
If you don't know how often your pool is checked out, just ask. The staff should be able to tell you.
You can do your part to make sure the pools stay safe. Shower off before you get in the water.
Wear a swimsuit. Gym shorts, or other clothing will bring more germs into the water.
Change children's diapers regularly.
And make sure - you take children to the bathroom often to avoid accidents in the pool.