Mother Nature wreaking havoc, raising health concerns, at local pools

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With many in the East looking for ways to beat the heat, swimming pools will likely be a popular choice. But Mother Nature is also wrecking havoc on pools, creating health concerns for bathers.

The hotter the weather, the more chemicals are needed to balance the water and make it safe to swim in. Wet weather can also impact pool chemicals as rain dilutes the pool water.

Just in the month of June, Hatteras had 10.51 inches of rain, followed by Greenville with 10.22 inches, Washington at 8.36 inches, and Beaufort with 7.04 inches.

“With every 5 to 10 degrees in water temperature, your chemical consumption doubles,” said Keith Bishton, owner of Greenville Pool and Supply. He offers people free water quality test who bring in samples to his store. He said lately, it isn’t uncommon to see cloudy or greenish water, and chlorine readings at zero. “I mean it’s kind of important to keep it at that level to take care of the E.coli and other bacteria.”

Bishton recommends private pool owners test their water several times a week to ensure it is safe to swim in. If there are too few chemicals, bacteria and illnesses can be transferred to swimmers. If chemicals are too high, it can bleach clothing and cause eye and skin irritation.

At larger scale and public pools, tests are done much more frequently.

“We check our chemicals 5 times a day and if we need adjustment we adjust it right then and there,” said Donetta Wylie, the pool manager at Fitness Connection in Greenville.

Wylie said they check chemicals every two hours because that’s how quickly things can change. She said with the hot weather, they have been burning through about 50 gallons of chlorine each day.

She recommends reading the rules at the pool, and not swimming if you have had loose bowel movements, or have eye or other types of infections.

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