City reveals safety, cleanliness standards for public pools

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s pools are starting to open around town. So what does the city do every year to make sure they’re safe, and just as importantly, make sure they’re clean?

“We usually have our inspection about two weeks before we open to the public, so we make sure those pools are in sound condition and safe for everybody to swim,” said Josh Herbert, acting aquatics manager for the City of Albuquerque.

That includes making sure the depth markings are visible and that ladders and diving boards are secure. Lifeguard stations must be in compliance with the latest rules and regulations.

Equipment is checked to make sure it’s in working order, and then comes the water.

“I know there’s a reputation of city pools not being the cleanest, but I think, by far, our city pools are cleaner than any other pool you’re going to go swim in,” said Herbert.

He said the city does far more testing than required.

“In addition to our opening test and our closing test, we take a test every hour,” he said.

It’s all about maintaining the perfect chemistry.

“We want to keep the pH at a certain level.  We’re aiming for 7.3, because that’s the same pH as our eyes so when someone goes underwater, opens their eyes, their eyes aren’t red and burning, they’re not itching,” Herbert said.

Accidents, of course, can happen.

“Our chlorine is our first line of the defense. If something gets in the water, the chlorine attacks it right away and then everything else gets filtered out with our high-rate sand filters, and then after the sand filters, anything microscopic gets killed by our UV systems,” said Herbert.The City of Albuquerque’s pools open Saturday, May 27.

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