Health Department publishes pool inspections online
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Saying they hope the move will improve public awareness, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials published nearly a year's worth of pool inspections online Tuesday.
The health department began posting restaurant inspections online in February. Now, all pool inspections since July 1, 2012, will be available at www.kchdwv.org. The health department's records were computerized last July.
"We do feel like it's a step in the right direction to have these online, so that people can access their pools, and if they're thinking about going out to pools, they can see what's going on," said Nasandra Wright, sanitation supervisor.
Indoor pool inspections began in December and about 80 percent are complete.
"We have had a couple indoor closures since December," Wright said.
As Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer, it's the time when the health department begins inspecting outdoor pools.
Only a handful of outdoor pools have been inspected so far, but Anita Ray, director of environmental health, said pools have done fairly well in the past. Sometimes there have been temporary closures for chemical problems.
"The most common issues with pools is getting the chemistry correct - especially for pools just starting up," Ray said. "For the seasonal pools, we want to get an inspection done as close to the opening date as possible, then we're required to do one sometime during their operating season."
If the sanitarian marks something as a violation, it must to be corrected, though "critical" and "non-critical" violations don't apply to pools.
If the water is too cloudy to see the bottom of the deep end, or if the chlorine or disinfectant does not have a proper concentration, the pool will be closed.
"Generally, we'll try to get back to those pools as soon as we can," Ray said. "As soon as they let us know they have remedied the issue, we'll get them back and open."
The county has 97 pools, most of which are outdoor. There also are pools in hotels, recreational facilities and other public places.
The inspections reveal water chemistry and other information.
"Usually Memorial Day is the traditional opening for outdoor pools," Ray said. "This weekend was rather cool, though. So I'm not sure how much businesses the pools did. They probably will soon."
Wright said the process for inspections is not changing, but the online access will further make individuals aware.
For more information on pool inspections, visit www.healthspace.com/clients/westvirginia/kanawhacharleston/kanawhacharleston_web_live.nsf.
Contact writer Candace Nelson at Candace.Nelson@dailymail. com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/Candace07.
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