San Diego pools take extra precaution to prevent chemical spills, sickness

40 hospitalized from spill in North Carolina YMCA
Posted at 4:38 AM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 10:24:26-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In the wake of a chemical spill at a North Carolina YMCA swimming pool, public pools around San Diego are double-checking their safety measures to prevent similar incidents here.

Forty children were sent to the hospital this week when chemicals spilled at a YMCA in North Carolina. All of the kids are expected to be OK.

The city of San Diego runs 13 public pools, and officials say all pools have multiple ways to keep chemicals from spilling and keep swimmers safe.

The city does random safety inspections at all pools at least twice a year. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department also inspects the pools to make sure chemicals are stored safely. The chemicals are also kept in separate rooms with primary and secondary containment structures to ensure they don't mix if there is a spill.

RELATED: Swimming pool safety tips

Also, on a daily basis, city aquatic technicians monitor pools on site, and managers test the water every hour to make sure all the chemicals are in balance.

The San Diego YMCA operates 25 pools across 17 facilities around the county. Like the city, they get yearly facility inspections from the county's Health Department. They also keep chlorine and acid stored in separate rooms, away from the pools, and employees check those rooms for leaks every two hours. Lifeguards also regularly check the water in the pool, and electronic monitors near the pumps analyze the water chemical composition and adjust levels accordingly.

Both the city and YMCA also pointed out that the leak in North Carolina happened at an indoor pool. The city doesn't have any indoor pools, and the YMCA only has a small handful. Outdoor pools have better ventilation to disperse noxious gas if there ever is a spill.

RELATED: CDC Chlorine Fact Sheet

The CDC says more than 5,000 people each year -- almost half of them children -- are sent to the emergency room because of chemical spills near pools.

In addition to chemicals, pools can also be dangerous to young children who can't swim. Parents can see potentially life-saving devices HERE.