Tag Archives: pools

DHEC in the News: SC FitnessGram, disease outbreaks in pools, Lyme disease

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

New research shows nearly half of South Carolina kids don’t meet fitness standards

More than one-third of South Carolina children are overweight or obese and nearly half fail to meet fitness standards related to brisk walking and running, new statewide data shows.

The SC FitnessGram project marks the first time this type of data has been collected across the state, a press release published by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control explained.

General Interest
1 in 3 swimming-related disease outbreaks occur at hotels

A third of treated recreational waterborne disease outbreaks during 2000 through 2014 occurred in hotel pools or hot tubs, according to a report published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ReportCryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”), Pseudomonas, and Legionella caused most of the outbreaks in swimming venues in the United States during this time period.

Risk for Lyme disease at an all-time high

Ticks are small arachnids, ranging in size from a grain of sand or a poppy seed to an apple seed. Small they may be, but they can carry a big problem.  Ticks carry an array of diseases including Lyme disease.

Isaiah Lundmark, 10 years old, of Clifton, was diagnosed with Lyme disease in September 2017. Isaiah’s mom, Carissa Lundmark, 37, is trying to create awareness about Lyme disease and how this year could be the worst year for ticks.

DHEC in the News: Old Sandy Run Road reopened, health risks in swimming pools and water parks, summer festival

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

  • The SC Department of Transportation has reopened Old Sandy Run Road.

DHEC informed the South Carolina Department of Transportation that the owner of the earthen dam near Old Sandy Run Road in Calhoun County has cleared some debris in the structure. Old Sandy Run Road was reopened Sunday.

  • Bacteria and parasites living in pools and water parks can make people sick.

Each summer, hundreds of thousands of people head to pools and water parks to have fun and find relief from the heat. Many don’t consider the health risk from bacteria and parasites.

The event is sponsored by Friends of the Edisto River. The Edisto originates in Saluda and Edgefield counties and reaches the ocean at Edisto Beach, in Colleton County.

Public Pools Can Provide Swim Lanes to Olympic Dreams

Millions of people around the world cheered on champion swimmers at the Rio Olympics this week as they broke new records and earned gold medals. If Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and other world-class swimmers have you inspired, you can dive into your Olympic dreams at a public pool.

Public pools are a great community resource where people of all ages can learn to swim, improve their fitness, make new friends or just cool off on a hot day. Many pools host swim lessons, coaching and swimming leagues to help everyone from beginners to competitors enjoy the water.

What you can do to swim safely

Whether you are mastering the doggy paddle or perfecting your backstroke, here’s what you can do to stay healthy and safe while you swim. Continue reading

Splash into Summer!

By Jim Beasley


You take your first step up and onto the diving board, a few carefully measured steps toward the end, bounce once or twice, soar freely into the air for a brief moment, then slice the surface of the cool, clear, clean water.

Swimming is the perfect way to spend a hot summer day in South Carolina. And you can thank DHEC’s Recreational Waters Program for the cleanliness and clarity of water at your local public swimming pool.

Our inspectors begin their visits to approximately 6,800 public swimming pools statewide beginning May 18, ensuring the pools’ chemicals are managed properly and other safety measures are being taken. This schedule includes checking any pool that is used by the public — municipal pools, summer camps, hotels and water parks. About 40% of the state’s public pools are along the coast.

New Technology

But the 2015 swimming season brings a new bit of technology to this process, as DHEC’s inspectors are now equipped with electronic tablets to record their pool inspection results. No longer will it be necessary to complete a paper report and send a copy for the pool operator. Instead, DHEC staff will email the reports, ensuring that everyone involved in the operation and care of the pool receives a digital copy of the results. Less paper; better for the environment.

How We Inspect 

When a DHEC staffer visits a public pool, the inspection involves testing water quality for appropriate chemical balance, making sure all required safety equipment is present and meets required standards, and making sure the overall operation and maintenance of the pool is in compliance with state regulations. Public pools are required to have a trained operator in charge — someone who knows the requirements and is able to keep the pool maintained for the safety of swimmers and staff.

Sometimes, our inspectors find problems indicating the pool is out of compliance and potentially endangering users. In the event that DHEC must close a public pool due to significant deficiencies found in the inspection, the electronic summary will indicate whether the pool may reopen as soon as corrections are made or that a re-inspection is required first. The objective is to help the pool operators make corrections in a timely manner so that the pool can reopen safely as soon as possible.

Safety Tips

There are also some steps you can take to keep your swimming experience safe. Here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t allow pool water into your mouth or swallow it.
  • Shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
  • Take children for bathroom breaks and check diapers frequently. Change diapers in the bathroom — not at poolside. Never swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Watch children closely. They can drown in just seconds, and do so without much noise. Don’t rely on “water wings” or other inflatables in place of a life jacket or preserver.
  • Always use sunscreen (at least SPF with both UVA and UVB protection) to guard against sunburn.

Follow these sensible steps and every splash will be a good one!  To learn more about DHEC’s swimming pool and recreational waters program, please visit our website.