No chlorine, other violations shut down Wake County pools - WSPA.com

No chlorine, other violations shut down Wake County pools

Posted: Updated:
The CDC says as many as 58 percent of public pools have traces of fecal contamination. The CDC says as many as 58 percent of public pools have traces of fecal contamination.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Well before that first plunge under water, public pools in North Carolina must first pass inspection.  In Wake County, 42 environmental health specialists oversee thousands of restaurants, water sources and more than 1,100 public swimming pools.  They inspect outdoor pools at the beginning of swimming season and then, just like restaurants, they perform surprise inspections throughout summer.

We recently joined Wake County Environmental Health Specialist Terry Chappell as he performed an inspection on a pool in North Raleigh.  Chappell examines the pool and surrounding areas for any health and safety violations including side railings, exterior fencing, even emergency phones.

Inspectors also test chlorine and pH levels.  Pool operators in N.C. are required complete a pH test once a day and twice a day for pools in Wake County.  The pH balance should measure between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale, inspectors say.  Chlorine should be measurable at least one part per million.

A pH balance that's too low or too high could cause water to become cloudy, algae growth, and eye irritation.  A lack of chlorine could allow harmful bacteria, like e-coli, to spread. 

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found as many as 58 percent of public pools have traces of fecal contamination.

"It could spread very quickly.  You could have 100 people ill pretty quickly," Chappell said.

The North Raleigh pool we visited had chlorine and pH at acceptable levels, but other nearby pools recently failed inspection. Those pools were forced to shut down temporarily for lack of chlorine and other violations that could put public health at risk.

On July 10, the pool at the Manor Six Forks Apartments in Raleigh had no chlorine according to an inspection report.  Chlorine was present during a follow up visit and the pool was allowed to reopen.

It was the same story on June 26 at the Falls Creek Apartments pool in Raleigh.  Again, the inspection report showed the pool had no chlorine.

The Camden Lake Pine Cabana Pool in Apex didn't have enough chlorine on June 27.

Meanwhile, on July 10, inspectors forced the Scotts Mill pool in Apex to close because the pH balance was off.

All those pools have since been re-inspected and are now in compliance and back open.  Chappell says he'll also order a pool to close if the water is too cloudy, the emergency land line phone isn't working properly, or if child-proof gate latches are broken.

"Issues like that pop up from time to time and it happens to everybody," he said.

Wake County posts the most recent inspections for public pools online.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • SC Woman Says Boyfriend Hit Her With Watermelon

    SC Woman Says Boyfriend Hit Her With Watermelon

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:06:52 GMT
    Jimmy Poage (Photo courtesy York Co. Sheriff's Office)Jimmy Poage (Photo courtesy York Co. Sheriff's Office)
    A Fort Mill man has been charged with criminal domestic violence after his girlfriend said he hit her with a watermelon.The Herald of Rock Hill reports that a 41-year-old woman told deputies that her boyfriend, 48-year-old Jimmy Poage, had been drinking on Wednesday night and thought she was cheating on him.
    A Fort Mill man has been charged with criminal domestic violence after his girlfriend said he hit her with a watermelon.The Herald of Rock Hill reports that a 41-year-old woman told deputies that her boyfriend, 48-year-old Jimmy Poage, had been drinking on Wednesday night and thought she was cheating on him.
  • Britain Raises Terror Threat Level

    Britain Raises Terror Threat Level

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:55:20 GMT
    Britain has repeatedly expressed concern about British nationals traveling to the Middle East and returning to wage attacks in the U.K.Britain has repeatedly expressed concern about British nationals traveling to the Middle East and returning to wage attacks in the U.K.
    Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May says the country has raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, but says there is no specific threat. The threat level means that a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely," but May insisted Friday there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent. 
    Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May says the country has raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, but says there is no specific threat. The threat level means that a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely," but May insisted Friday there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent. 
  • 2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:50:37 GMT
    Deputies responded to the Hollingsworth Property at 3309 Laurens Road at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.Deputies responded to the Hollingsworth Property at 3309 Laurens Road at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.
    Greenville County deputies say two people are dead after a shooting at the Hollingsworth Property on Laurens Road early Friday morning. 
    Greenville County deputies say two people are dead after a shooting at the Hollingsworth Property on Laurens Road early Friday morning. When deputies arrived, they found two victims. According to Lt. Ty Miller, the incident may have occurred during the standard shift change hours. 

Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.