Community Health

Louisvillians now have access to a new portal with information about pool safety across the county. 

The new portal, from the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health Wellness, ranks pools on a scale of one to 100. 

“They can look at the scores of the pools that they frequent and they can see how they’re doing, make sure where they’re going is safe and protect their health,” Ciara Warren, the department’s environmental health manager, said Thursday at a press event.

Public pools encompass more than E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park or the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center. The city’s data includes pools at apartment complexes, hotels, spas and wellness centers.

Warren said that the only pools the city isn’t testing are residential, backyard pools. 

“During our regular inspection, we check all safety equipment, facility maintenance, water quality and filtration,” Warren said.

Pools get full inspections twice a year, which includes a more thorough review of the pool and its facilities. However, during the time the pool is operational, officials from the department come weekly to check for things like the presence of disinfectants, pH levels and alkalinity.

Following testing, pools are scored. Different violations carry different weights in the points system. Anything under an 86 is considered failing. 

Pools that fail inspection can be immediately shut down and prohibited from reopening until they reach a passing score. 

“Automatic failure is if they don’t have any disinfectant in the pool, so that’s our most critical item,” Warren said.

Disinfectants, like chlorine, help prevent water-borne illnesses such as legionella and cryptosporidium.

“This new tracking system will better help us protect people from severe illness that can come from contaminated recreational water,” Connie Mendel, the director of Environmental Health at the department, said in a news release.

The new portal was created with funds from a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Environmental Health Association.

“Having this data empowers individuals with information to make decisions about their own health and safety,” Mendel said in the release.

The new portal will be updated in conjunction with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ weekly inspections.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.