The waters at Pecos Pool are cleaner than ever thanks to newly enforced citywide pool regulations.
Staff members monitor chlorine and PH levels hourly, and swimmers are constantly reminded of safety guidelines, said Becky Hulett, aquatics supervisor for the city of Phoenix.
“We do a lot of education on how to keep the pool clean,” Hulett said.
In the summer of 2009, the pool implemented signs that tell swimmers the new safety guidelines, she said. For example, everyone must shower before entering the pool and young children have to wear swim diapers, which are sold in the vending machines.
The pool also has an automatic sanitation system, which is monitored 24 hours a day, said Scott Coughlin, specialized maintenance supervisor. Staff members log the chlorine and PH levels every hour to look for changes in the readings.
The pool is also monitored by a special plumber several times a week to make sure everything is working properly, Coughlin said.
Hulett said many of the rules were implemented after 2008, when all 29 Phoenix pools were closed for two to seven days because of health issues. She said there was concern of cryptosporidium in the pools, a parasite that causes diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Pecos Pool installed showers and changing tables in the restrooms after the incident, to keep sanitation standards high, Hulett said.
“We went above and beyond what the CDC asked us to do,” she said. “The rules are strongly enforced now.”
Coughlin said the public has been very cooperative with the newly-enforced rules.
Mary Gerken, 40, of Ahwatukee Foothills, said her sons are good at taking showers before getting in the pool, and she believes the swim diapers in the vending machines help with sanitation.
“I think our pools have always been pretty clean,” she said. “They’re just maybe a little more diligent now.”
Some swimmers, however, are still unaware of the pool rules.
Blake Piper, 13, said he has been to the pool five times, but never realized he needed to shower before getting in the water.
Though the situation might not be perfect, David Urbinato, of the Parks and Recreation Department, said Phoenix pools, for most people, “will be the clearest they ever swim in and, by far, the most closely monitored.”
Jolie McCullough is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.