Pool party? Check the health inspection before diving in

Story highlights

  • A CDC study found that nearly 80% of pools, other water venues had at least one violation
  • 1 in 8 resulted in immediate closure because of the severity of the violation
  • Most common violations were improper pH levels, safety equipment issues, problems with disinfectant

(CNN)Nothing feels quite like jumping into cool water on a hot summer day -- but before you do your best belly flop, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you check the last time that public swimming pool was inspected. You may be diving into a pool of public health violations.

According to a report published Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, thousands of public pools, hot tubs and the like across the United States are closed each year due to serious violations of health and safety standards.
"No one should get sick or hurt when visiting a public pool, hot tub or water playground," said Dr. Beth Bell, director of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. "That's why public health and aquatics professionals work together to improve the operation and maintenance of these public places, so people will be healthy and safe when they swim."
    Eighty percent of public swimming pools, lazy rivers, hot tubs/spas and water playgrounds had at least one violation when inspected, based on more than 84,000 inspections of more than 48,000 places where people swim, lounge and play in chemically treated water in Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona and California. One in eight resulted in immediate closure of the venue because of the severity of the violation.
    In what may not come as a surprise, kiddie pools and wading pools top the list. Of those, one in five had been closed at some point for one violation or another. The most common violations: improper pH levels, safety equipment issues and problems with the disinfectant concentration.
    Chlorine and other disinfectants and ch