NECN INVESTIGATES EXTRA: Public Pool Safety Photos

Necn investigated safety records at some Massachusetts pools.

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State health inspectors found several pools were not closing when chemical levels were at unacceptable levels.
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At the Manning Pool in Brockton, state health inspectors found 26 sanitation violations, like food stored too close to the floor, food contact surfaces not properly sterilized, no way for food service employees to dry their hands and, in the bathrooms, sinks and toilets out of order.
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At some state pools, inspectors found standing water on the floors, no hot water at bathroom sinks and mold on shower curtains.
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Of the 35 pools state health inspectors visited, 91 percent had health and safety violations ranging from insufficient emergency communication systems to broken safety equipment.
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Eighty-eight percent of pools inspected by the Massachusetts Department of Health had sanitation violations like drains clogged with debris, "generally dirty" bathrooms, clogged toilets and moldy beverage dispensers at a concession stand.
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The state regulates that an emergency communications system must allow "convenient, immediate and toll-free communication with emergency medical services, local police, state police and the local fire department." Yet more than one quarter of inspected DCR-owned pools were found to be "insufficient." Since the health reports were released, the state tells necn they have made significant progress in fixing and installing proper systems.
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Fifty-four percent of inspected pools had water quality issues like too much chlorine or too little. Doctors tell necn too little chlorine puts swimmers at risk of parasites and other health concerns like salmonella and E. coli.
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Parents at the Manning Pool in Brockton say they are disappointed the DCR pool had close to 40 violations on the state health inspection report.
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At the Shine Memorial Pool in Worcester, state health inspectors found a broken emergency communications system. When they used a cordless phone provided by pool staff to do a test call to Worcester Police, they found police did not have the correct address for the pool.
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In a six week period, DCR owned pools have had more than 200,000 visitors, according to the state. There has been one drowning this summer, at the Sara Jane Pool in Chicopee. That incident is under investigation. State health inspectors found the lifeguards' ring buoy was cracked.
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