Dozens of Salt Lake County public swimming pools closed due to safety concerns

Jan 30, 2023, 2:12 PM | Updated: 6:24 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — About 150 public pools in Salt Lake County will shut down after not meeting updated state safety requirements.

The Salt Lake County Health Department said that beginning Feb. 1, 163 of the 649 county swimming pools would close as they do not satisfy Utah’s new interlock safety requirements.

“The State of Utah’s pool rule now requires a pool’s chemical feed system to be electrically ‘interlocked’ to its water circulation system to prevent chemicals from continuing to dispense (and build up dangerously in the system) if the water circulation system stops functioning,” reads the health department post.

“When it turns back on, it pushes that gas backs out in the pool area, and you are sending people to the hospital,” explained Brad Johnson, environmental health scientist for the county.

The health department referenced a June 2019 incident at the Veterans Memorial Pool in Pleasant Grove, Utah, where an equipment malfunction caused dozens of people to become sick and sent to the hospital. Because of the incident, Utah updated its safety requirements with the interlock system in 2020, giving pools until Jan. 31, 2023, to install them.

The health department said most closed pools could be reopened after adding the new system. They estimate it could cost $500 or less for the upgrade.

The department added that all newer pools should already meet requirements as the interlock system is the standard, and all swimming pools operated by Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation have them.

Johnson mentioned it would be a good idea for even private homeowners to consider an interlock system for their pools.

The closed pools will be on the Salt Lake County Health Department’s website as they begin to close.

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Dozens of Salt Lake County public swimming pools closed due to safety concerns