County pool closures

Percentage of Los Angeles County pools inspected and closed in the last 3 1/2 years by type (10% of all the pools inspected by the county were closed at least once since Jan. 3, 2005):

» Motel: 16.5%
» Apartment: 12.1%
» Mobile home park: 10%
» Hotel: 9.8%
» Health club: 9.4%
» Condo/town house:6.6%
» Medical facility: 5.5%
» Public school: 5%
» Private school: 4.6%
» Municipal pool: 4.3%
» Swim school: 3.9%
» Resort/camp: 3.7%
» Country club: 1%
» Water theme park: 0%

Analysis is taken from data obtained by county inspectors between Jan. 3, 2005, through May 5, 2008. The county inspectors do not include pools in Long Beach, Pasadena and Vernon, cities that have their own health departments. (Swimming pools at single-family homes, duplexes, or three-unit homes are not inspected by the county.)

Source: County records, data analysis by Times staff writer Doug Smith

Pools that have been closed by the county the most times in the last 3 1/2 years:

» Seven closures, Casa Linda, 8142 Broadway Ave., Whittier
» Seven closures, Sheraton Town House, 639 S. Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles
» Six closures, Casa Linda, 8210 Broadway Ave., Whittier
» Six closures, Avenida 57 Apartments, 376 N. Ave. 57, Highland Park
» Six closures, Highland Riviera, 332 S. Ave. 60, Highland Park
» Six closures, Los Feliz Lanai, 3717 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz*
» Six closures, Emerald Terrace, 160 S. Virgil Ave, Los Angeles**
» Five closures, 6815 Kelvin Ave., Canoga Park

* Management said it decided to drain the pool.
** The property changed owners last year and has since replaced the entire pool.

Look before you leap

Before getting into a pool, look for these common signs:

» Cloudy or green residue in the water, which indicates that there is not enough disinfectant in the pool and could facilitate the spread of bacteria or parasites that may cause disease. You should be able to clearly see painted stripes and the bottom of the pool.
» Odor. A well-chlorinated pool has little odor; a strong chemical smell indicates a maintenance problem.
» The sound of pool equipment in operation. Pool pumps and filtration systems are loud and you should hear them running.
» Fecal matter in the pool, which can spread disease.

General advice:

» Don't swim when you have diarrhea; germs can easily spread throughout the pool.
» Avoid swallowing pool water, and avoid getting water in your mouth.
» Shower before jumping in the pool.
» Don't jump in the pool with your clothes; dirt and laundry detergent help contaminate pool water.
» Don't change diapers by the poolside.
» Take children to the bathroom often.
» Consider checking the pool water by purchasing pool chlorine test strips, which can be found at home improvement stores, discount retailers and pool supply stores. Instructions can be found by going to the links below.

Handy links:

» Protecting yourself:
» For more information:

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention