FAIRFIELD DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: PUBLIC POOLS + SPAS
Public Swimming Pools, Spas & Special Use Pools
The Fairfield Department of Health inspects public swimming pools, spas, and special use pools to prevent injury, minimize the potential for disease transmission, and provide a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment.
Ohio Administrative Code 3701-31 regulates the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of public pools, spas, and special use pools.
Virginia Graeme Baker Act is federal legislation that took effect on December 19, 2008. This act requires that all public swimming pools, spas and special use pools have anti-entrapment and anti-evisceration mechanisms in place by December 19, 2008. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the federal agency tasked with enforcing this legislation. Ohio’s public swimming pools, spas and special use pools must comply with this federal legislation.
The Fairfield Department of Health (FDH) wants to be sure that all our residents enjoy swimming fun and stay healthy by understanding how recreational water diseases are caused and how to prevent them from making people sick. These diseases are caused by germs that can contaminate water in pools, lakes and oceans. The most common illness is diarrhea caused by germs like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella and E.coli. A person with diarrhea can contaminate a swimming pool. If swimmers swallow the contaminated water, they may become ill.
Public pools, spas and special use pools are required to maintain certain levels of disinfectants in the water, such as chlorine or bromine that destroy disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites. Some parasites, like “Cryptosporidium”, can live in a pool for days. . "Remember it is everyone’s responsibility to help insure a safe swimming experience, so if you are ill please don't swim,” says Fairfield Department of Health Environmental Director Larry Hanna.
To keep your water experience as safe as possible, please follow the following health tips:
1. Do not swim when you have diarrhea. This is really important especially for children in diapers.
2. Do not swallow pool water; keep your mouth closed while in the water
3. Do practice good hygiene; take a shower before swimming.
Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing a diaper.
For more information about recreational water illnesses, please log on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.healthyswimming.org.