The summer swim season is here and parents and swimmers must exercise caution in taking to the pool. All swimmers should take note of the water clarity by making sure that the main drain of the pool is visible in the deepest part of the pool. The Texas Department of Health and Safety Standards (TXDHSS) says that “a pool shall not be open for use if the main drain is not visible”. This is true even if a pool appears to look blue. The standard is if the drain is clearly visible and not the color of the pool so take caution in selecting what pool to swim in.
Water Clarity is vital to ensure that a child or person at the bottom of a pool can be easily seen and rescued. Inadequate water clarity can delay rescue efforts and in drowning situations every minute counts for a person’s survival and health.
Pool depth markers should also be clearly marked to identify the depths of the pool. This will allow swimmers to know how deep a part of the pool is at any given time and keep them in areas where they can swim.
The pool must also have safety equipment such as a shepherd’s hook and life ring with buoy in plain view so that if a rescue is necessary these items are present and ready to use. The TXDHSS has set guidelines detailing all of the safety equipment necessary for pools. The TXDHSS also sets out all of the regulations that should be followed by apartment complexes, hotels, resorts, and other commercial pools and spas. These are mandatory statutes that must be strictly adhered to.
If you see that a pool is unsafe because of poor water clarity and no safety equipment, notify the owner or manager of the pool and do not swim until these items are addressed. It goes without saying that parents should also keep an eye on their children around pools in the event that a child slips or falls into a part of the pool that they cannot swim in.
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