Growth and Evolution of a Municipal Pool Safety and Inspection Program
The city of Plano Health Department swimming pool safety and inspection program has been growing and evolving since 1992. Currently, five environmental health specialists inspect 370 permitted commercial swimming pools. The environmental health specialists, who are all well trained and are Certified Pool Operators by the National Swimming Pool Foundation, inspect each facility twice during the summer season. The department considers quality training for both inspectors and operators a priority. Violation rates have been variable across the program, but improved operator training is proving successful in many areas. The program also plays a role in swimming pool construction by providing plan review services and construction inspections. Increased involvement in construction and design has significantly reduced problems and improved compliance with new pools. This has resulted in a higher level of service and swimmer safety. Additionally, a net drop in chemistry violations has been shown over the last three years. The department is constantly evaluating safety in public and semi-public pools in Plano in an effort to provide a maximum level of swimmer safety.