Local News

Some Wake County pools closed for violations

Posted August 11, 2010
Updated May 25, 2012

— Before people can start splashing in a pool in Wake County, it has to pass the test from the county's pool inspectors.

“I want to make sure when you go swimming that you’re gonna be pretty sure that everything’s all right,” said Terry Chappell, of Wake County Environmental Services.

Unlike restaurant sanitation scores where the higher the score, the better, pool sanitation scores rack up demerit points. More demerit points mean more violations.

One of the first things checked is water quality. The water needs to be clear enough to see the drain at the bottom.

Then, chlorine and PH levels are examined. 

Inspectors also check safety equipment and whether the emergency phone is working.

The worst-scoring pool this summer was at Bradford Crossing Apartments, 835 Navaho Drive in Raleigh, according to inspection reports. With 50 demerit points, the owners were denied a permit to operate.

The pool was cited for not having enough chlorine, having walls and floors that were not clean and the presence of algae.

“My brothers were sad,” Brandford Crossing resident Yara Bernal said. “I was, like, kind of grossed out.”

Bradford Crossing's pool has since been re-inspected and received just eight demerit points. It is now open.

The second worst-scoring pool of the summer was at the Best Western, 2715 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh. With 34 demerit points, its permit was also denied.

Best Western’s problem included low-chlorine levels and a broken emergency phone. The fence around the pool was also not up to code.

The pool at the Wingate by Wyndham, 2610 Westinghouse Blvd. in Raleigh, also failed to get a permit because of violations.

When an inspector checked it again, the pool was operating without a permit. It was shut down and a re-inspection was reordered.

When WRAL News called the hotel’s front desk on Wednesday, a worker said the pool was open.

A total of 24 pools did not get their permit or were shut down this summer. Of those, 13 were at apartments, six were at hotels, four were community pools and one was a private school pool.

Wake County keeps a list online of the most recent and previous three inspections for all non-residential pools.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • blackdog Aug 12, 2010

    More government intervention into our lives. Now the government won't even allow us to jump in nasty filthy pools.

  • Willie_11 Aug 12, 2010

    The guy who installed my pool, Ronnie Stephenson, taught me how to care for my own pool, including how to use the Taylor water test kit. Whenever I go to the pool store, I chuckle at all the peeps getting their water tested by the store. Why trust the pool store to tell you what you should know?

  • PDS 350 Aug 12, 2010

    What "gussy" said is good information.

    And again: "And don't even get me started on spas/hot tubs. Just think: moisture + heat + inadequate chemical sanitizing = YuuucK!"

    Most owners of hot tubs, jacuzzis, and the like either have no idea of what's involved with proper maintenance and sanitization - or are just not diligent enough to do so as is needed on a regular basis. This maintenance needs to be done regardless of whether or not you're using the hot tub. And to put it delicately, inadequate maintenance & sanitization conditions are far more problematic for the women that use them than the men...

  • gussy Aug 12, 2010

    Pool cleanliness is a whole ballgame in itself but WRAL needs to report on this:

    I'm an inspector in another county....but I have many friends across the state who have been posting to their Facebook accounts that they are looking/starting swim lessons at a private home pool. Counties such as Wake, Mecklenberg, Orange, etc. do not have the manpower to scope out all of these home pools offering these services. PARENTS!!!!!!! Please be aware, private home pools accepting pay for swim lessons are ILLEGAL! These pools are not inspected on any level by state officials for safety in regards to disease control, drain safety, construction safety. If in doubt, if the pool does not have a different group of patrons on a daily basis, it is not an inspected public pool. Call your local Environmental Health branch if you are still unsure. Better safe than sorry....

  • PDS 350 Aug 12, 2010

    I would submit that if the pool operator doesn't even have the TDS under control, his/her ability to be properly maintaining anything else, i.e. PH, alkalinity, free chlorine, algaecide, etc. should also be suspect...

  • ncguy Aug 12, 2010

    PDS it's called TDS ( total dissolved solids) an easy fix. A water clarifier is needed. It is a coagulant that grabs the the matter making it big enough for the sand filter to catch.

  • PDS 350 Aug 12, 2010

    I bought a house with an in-ground pool back in '98, at which time I knew little or nothing about proper pool sanitizing & maintenance procedures. After a crash course in these, I then realized that approx. half the pools I saw at apt. complexes, hotels/motels, and health clubs were not being properly cared for, and that I would not swim in them if you paid me.

    As for "The water needs to be clear enough to see the drain at the bottom.": The purpose of this criteria is to determine the clarity of the water in the pool. If it's too cloudy to be able to clearly see the drain, this is an indication that there is an excess of foreign matter, algae, or other contaminants in the pool water. Meaning that the pool water is not being adequately filtered and/or maintained chemically. This is a "test" you can do on your own without any other testing equipment.

    And don't even get me started on spas/hot tubs. Just think: moisture + heat + inadequate chemical sanitizing = YuuucK!

  • ncguy Aug 12, 2010

    That's what happens when you don't spend money on qualified personell and the right chemicals.

    The CPO's (certified pool operator) of these places need to be looked at also.

  • between_the_lines Aug 11, 2010

    someone please come inspect the pool where i live! it's so gross, i wouldn't dare swim in it. I would love to come home after working in the hot sun all day and jump in the community pool where I live, but it's too nasty all the time

  • Fuquay Resident Aug 11, 2010

    Baybee Doll, the pools at health clubs also have to be inspected annually.