Across Los Angeles, adults and children are wondering when they’ll be able to get back in public pools. Parents are especially hoping their kids can return to swimming lessons now that most have been out of the pool for over a year. There is one thing owners across LA lack: chlorine. Because of the chlorine shortage, pools have closed down, leaving many uncertain about what’s next.
According to the CDC, the leading cause behind drowning accidents in children younger than 15 is poor swimming. Because of the pandemic, that number has fallen because local beaches and pools were closed off. As a favorite summer pastime, kids should know how to swim. So, this is impacting them significantly.
Supplementing Liquid Chlorine with Powder
The shortage began last August following Hurricane Laura hitting a chemical plant that produces chlorine tablets in Louisiana. Residential pool owners began utilizing liquid chlorine, which also hurt public pools just a month after being cleared to reopen by the Health Department.
In response, public pools have continued to use powder as needed instead of liquid chlorine. But it burns much faster in the hot, sunny conditions Californians love.
What Are Pool Owners Saying Across LA?
The following pool owners and experts hope to see a change. Here are their thoughts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- Torrence Thomas operates a swim safety non-profit called Tankproof. “It’s a fairness issue,” he told an LA Times reporter. “You can’t have pools without chlorine, and all the supplies are going to these [private] pools.”
- Jerry Wallace leads SwimChem in Sacramento. “[Pools] have to be tested a certain number of times per day, and if [you have] trouble sourcing chlorine for your pool, once you get below that minimum level, you need to close down,” he said.
- Jeff Wiltse is an author, swimming pool, and segregation expert. “This chlorine issue is just exacerbating what is already an existing disparity,” he said to LA Times. “There’s been a significant growth in private swimming pools [in recent decades], whereas public swimming pools have been generally stagnant, and in many cities, there’s been a significant decline.”
What Happens Without Chlorine?
It is not safe for children or adults to swim in a pool without added chemicals to limit bacteria growth and other contaminants. When bacteria get into your body, they can attack your brain, tissues, and organs.
Any personal injury attorney in Los Angeles would advise you that any pool owner that fails to maintain safe pool conditions is liable for damages, should you or a loved one get hurt. Public pools in are limited as is right now. Be mindful of the changes, whether you plan to partake in recreational swim lessons or have a private pool. Neglected pools can cause debris to build up and impact the internal structure from filters to drains.
If you need legal advice, one of our swimming pool injury lawyers in LA is ready to take your call!