Not-so-dirty pool

It’s no secret how miserably hot summers can be in Butte County. Swimming pools, including those accessible to the public in one way or another, become oases for those seeking to escape the heat. But how does the average swimmer know that the pool water is clean and safe? Most pool experts consider the ideal pH to be between 7.2 and 7.8, while chlorine levels should range somewhere between 1.0 to 3.0. Levels that are off can lead to everything from cloudy water to skin irritation. With the help of Michael Boian, supervising environmental health specialist at the Butte County Department of Public Health, we were able to produce a list of some of the more popular pools in the city of Chico, when they were last inspected and what the county found. Inspectors were hoping for a PH of 7 to 7.8 and at least 1.5 parts per million of chlorine. None of the pools we researched had been shut down.

Chlorine Location Inspection Level (ppm) PH Level

Craig Hall 6/20/03 10.0 7.4

Heritage Inn Express 7/08/04 3.0 7.8

Holiday Inn 6/04/04 5 7.7

In Motion Fitness (lap pool) 6/19/03 2.0 7.6

Jefferson on 5th Apartments none —— ——

Newman Center 6/23/03 5.0 7.4

Oxford Suites 7/01/04 2.0 7.8

Pleasant Valley Pool 8/13/03 2.0 7.6

University Park 7/21/04 10.0 7.4

Vagabond Inn 6/29/-* 0.5 7.2

* Year of inspection wasn’t noted in file.