Utah swimming pools must follow a new safety rule — or close
Salt Lake County health officials are planning to close more than 160 indoor pools that have not updated their chemical systems to comply with a new state safety rule.
What's happening: Pools now must have chemical dispensers wired so they automatically stop if water isn't pumping through the circulation system.
- If chemicals don't flow into the pool with the water, they can build up and react to form poisonous chlorine gas.
Flashback: About 50 people started vomiting, coughing and bleeding from their noses at a Pleasant Grove pool in 2019 after a pump malfunctioned, allowing a buildup of chlorine gas that witnesses described as yellow bubbles when the pump started working again.
- Dozens of swimmers were hospitalized.
Details: The state enacted the new requirements in 2020, giving pool owners until Tuesday to upgrade their systems.
- The rule applies to most pools at apartment and condo complexes, HOAs, hotels, schools, gyms and public rec centers — but not backyard and in-home pools.
- All owners received notices by email and mail, and in person, during the past two years, as well as follow-up calls this month.
By the numbers: Of 649 winter and year-round pools that have county permits, about three-quarters are in compliance and can stay open.
- County officials will start closing the other 163 tomorrow.
- In early spring, inspections will begin on the 641 summer-use pools.
What's next: The county expects to close a few dozen each day for the next few weeks, a health department spokesperson told Axios.
Closures will be posted nightly on the department's website.
More Salt Lake City stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.