SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) is about to crack down on public swimming pools that do not meet new safety requirements set by the State of Utah.
The new safety requirements go into effect on Feb. 1, 2023, after the State of Utah updated its pool rule in August 2020. The rule was updated after a pool in Pleasant Grove experienced a system malfunction leading to several swimmers going to the hospital and even more becoming sick in 2019.
SLCoHD said of the county’s 649 year-round and winter-season pools, 486 of them are up to the new standard. The remaining 163, or roughly 25% of them, are subject to closure, including pools belonging to apartments, condos, gyms, hotels, and schools. According to SLCoHD, every affected pool has received multiple reminders about the new requirement over the last year, including phone calls, emails, and written letters.
The new pool rule will require a pool’s chemical feed system to be electrically “interlocked” to its water circulation. The new safety system would help prevent chemicals from continuing to dispense and potentially building up to dangerous levels in the event the water circulation stops working.
The buildup of pool chemicals, including chlorine and muriatic acid, can create chlorine gas, which can cause illness, lung damage, and even death in extreme cases.
Once the new safety requirements go into effect on Feb. 1, the pools that have yet to update their system could close down until they meet requirements. SLCoHD estimates that most pools can meet the new requirements with a one-time cost of $500. Newer pools automatically meet the requirements as the interlock system is an industrywide safety standard.
All pools operated by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation reportedly meet the new interlock rule and are not subject to any closures.
Another 641 pools will be added to inspection in early spring when SLCoHD begins enforcing the new rule on pools that operate only in the summer months.
The list of pools closed can be found on the SLCoHD’s closures page, which is updated nightly.