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House bill calls for added pool inspection after lifeguard's death

Posted April 6
Updated April 10

— The death of a lifeguard at a Wake County swimming pool last summer has prompted legislation calling for new safety inspections at public pools statewide.

Rachel Rosoff, a 17-year-old Enloe High School student, was shocked as she was opening the pool in the Heritage Point subdivision on Sept. 5 and then drowned. Authorities later determined that a faulty ground wire in the pool's electrical system didn't trip a circuit breaker when the pump motor failed, allowing the water in the pool to become electrified.

Under current law, the electrical systems at public pools are required to be inspected only when the pools first open. So, the system at the Heritage Point pool hadn't been inspected in 37 years.

House Bill 598, which was filed Wednesday, would require a new electrical inspection for every public swimming pool across North Carolina. Wake County alone is estimated to have more than 1,100 public pools.

The state Department of Health and Human Services last month recommended to county health departments statewide that licensed electricians be hired to routinely inspect pool electrical systems.

Wake County pool inspectors said they would provide the DHHS memo to all pool operators with their yearly inspection fee invoice, but any electrical inspections would be up to individual operators.

Rosoff’s mother has said regular electrical inspections, not just the single inspection called for in House Bill 598, should be mandatory.

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