COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Inspectors are hard at work all year making sure local swimming pools are safe and healthy, but pool inspectors with the Columbus health department say this summer has been particularly busy for enforcement.
A chlorine shortage is to blame, and it has led to inspectors closing pools almost every day, said Meredith Mazzarella, coordinator for Columbus Public Health’s Water and Land Protection program.
All pools and spas used by more than four families in Columbus and Worthington — about 800, according to Mazzarella — must be licensed by CPH.
“For our outdoor pools, we try to get to them twice a summer at minimum. At indoor pools, we try to get to those three times a year,” she said. “There’s a lot more to a swimming pool inspection than just checking the water and taking a quick look around.”
Inspectors make sure lifeguards are certified, fences are properly installed, equipment works and drains are secure. There’s also a lot that goes into making sure water is clean: pumps must churn through every ounce of water in the pool in eight hours; filters must be maintained; and there must be adequate levels of chlorine, which serves as a disinfectant.
“There’s a chlorine shortage that’s causing a lot of people to either not be feeding enough chlorine in the pool, because they’re trying to make do with a small amount of chlorine,” Mazzarella said. “Or they just don’t have any, but they’re keeping the pool open.”
The shortage is due to an increase in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazzarella explained, as homeowners rushed to install backyard swimming pools. A Louisiana chemical plant that served as a top supplier of chlorine caught fire last August, also contributing to the shortage.
The map above shows the latest inspections for pools in Columbus as of Thursday. The Franklin County Health Department includes hundreds of pool inspections in its database for locations across the county. Delaware County also keeps an easily accessible database.
As of Thursday afternoon, 19 pools in Columbus were closed, and 13 of them were closed due to low disinfectant. None of the closed pools are public.
|Aloft Columbus University District||1295 Olentangy River Rd||7/13/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Autumn Springs||5500 Floral Circle S||7/6/2021||SVRS|
|Brittany Bay Apartments||4365 Bayshire Rd||6/24/2021||Low Disinfectant; SVRS|
|Brookview At Noble||568 Carpenter Ridge||7/14/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Commons On Kinnear (2 pools)||1150 Kinnear Rd||6/30/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Fairfield Inn||9000 Worthington Rd||4/13/2021||Low Disinfectant; Main Drain|
|Hyatt Place Columbus Dublin||6161 Parkcenter Cir||6/17/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Jefferson Chase Apts||860 Jefferson Chase Wy||7/1/2021||Clarity|
|Karric Place Of Dublin North||3970 Brelsford Ln||6/25/2020||SVRS|
|Lake Eden Apartments||5179 Dempster Dr||7/14/2021||SVRS|
|Sawmill Village||6900 Sawmill Village||7/12/2021||Low Disinfectant; Clarity|
|Sheraton Suites Hotel (2 pools)||201 Hutchinson Ave||7/9/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Staybridge Suites||115 Hutchinson Ave||7/8/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Tall Oaks Apartments||2300 Fitzroy Place S.||6/8/2018||SVRS|
|The Barn||5451 Edward Farms||6/28/2021||Auto Controller; Main Drain|
|The Crossing At Grove City||4454 Dogwood Tree Wy||7/9/2021||Low Disinfectant|
|Wilson Court Apts Llc||3850 Habitat Dr||8/12/2019||Low Disinfection|
“It’s mainly apartment complexes, the smaller pools. We are seeing a lot of closures for those this summer,” Mazzarella said. She noted that the list of closures can change multiple times throughout the day.
Pools that pass inspection display a green sign provided by CPH, and pools dealing with compliance issues that are being monitored by CPH display a yellow sign. Pools that have been ordered closed display a red sign.
Ben Orner contributed to this story.