Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Reason LA's Public Pools Are Contamined!

The recent story in the Times about the health department shutting down public pools due to pollution missed one particular part of the problem. While I was trying out new gyms when the pool at my regular gym was closed for a month, I was surprised by how many gyms have showers in the public areas and that swimmers are only required to shower in them.

So not only do these showers not have any soap to use to wash one's body with, since it is a mixed sex space, the swimmers also keep on their bathing suits and therefore do not wash and clear that parts of their body that are most likely to cause health problems in the pool.

My question is - is this legal? Can the health code not require that gyms require a full washing of the body with soap and water? Another problem with some of the gym's pools - particularly in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations - is that some of the patrons do not even shower period before entering the pool and a few do not even put on bathing suits - they just go into the water in their underwear. And on more than one occasion - some people just get into the poll wearing their shirts and their pants. Needless to say, I quickly stopped going to either of those gyms.

But while the later problems are more maintenance problems - and a lack of sufficient signage in appropriate languages telling people what is and is not acceptable - my big question is - why does the health department allow people to enter pools after just partially washing bodies with water - and after using no soap at all? And if they don't - shouldn't the pool side showers have signs that they are only to used after being in the pool - and not before entering the pool?

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