(KCPW News) With most public swimming pools opening for the Memorial Day weekend, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department is busy making sure pool operators are following the law when it comes to pool drainage systems.
"What we're requiring right now is that pools that were originally installed with just a single main drain, that they be brought into having the dual main drains or else a vacuum switch, or else some type of an unblockable [sic] drain cover to come into our compliance," said Water Quality bureau manager Teresa Gray.
Gray says anti-entrapment systems are already required under Utah law, but soon swimming pool operators will have to do more. Federal law now states that all public pools and spas must be fitted with special grates that prevent people from getting trapped. While the local health department can't enforce federal law, Gray says the rule will soon be part of state law and have informed pool operators they will need to be in compliance.
Meanwhile, the department didn't make any rule changes for pool visitors this year. However, several rules were changed last year in an effort to avoid a repeat of 2007's Cryptosporidiosis outbreak. Gray says those efforts appear to have been successful, but…
"My concern is that everybody was really vigilant last year about making sure that they take a shower after they use the restroom and don't swim if you've had diarrhea, and maybe they get a little bit lax this year. That's my concern," said Gray.
The Salt Lake Valley Health Department recorded more than 700 cases of crypto in 2007, but only seven last year. Gray says people should still be vigilant about avoiding pools for two weeks after a bout with diarrhea, showering before entering a public pool, and putting water resistant swim diapers and a waterproof cover on children under three years old.