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More than 700 Lee County public pools and spas failed state health inspection

Posted at 10:56 PM, May 02, 2019

LEE COUNTY, Fla. --More than 700 public pools and spas in Lee County have been ruled unsafe or unsanitary by the state’s health department since the beginning of 2019.

“It’s really scary, especially if you’re visiting here and you don’t know what’s happening,” said Kathy Fussell, a Cape Coral resident.

Eye opening data from the health department reveals 715 public pools and spas were deemed unsatisfactory.

A lot of them violated multiple critical health and safety codes. Some being extreme environmental cases involving a chemical imbalance.

“We bring our grandkids down here and obviously I don’t want them swimming in a pool that’s unsafe,” said visitor, Susan Wiliams.

The pools and spas are located in areas like Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach and Estero.

Twice a year, inspectors use a 48-point checklist to make sure the pools and spas are safe.

However, they found about 200 of them to be dirty with floating debris or algae in the water in pools at hotels, resorts and living communities.

“I definitely wouldn’t be going to those pools if they weren’t up to code,” said Deja Carpenter, a Cape Coral resident.

“And I’m definitely not going to bring my kids there,” said Fussell.

Many of them are lacking safety equipment like life hooks or don’t have certified lifeguards on duty.
About 145 don’t have secure gates and fencing and dozens don’t have the proper lighting.

Many pools had severe violations, so the health department had to shut down. They were forced to make changes in order to reopen.

Inspectors give owners with less severe violations one to 21 days to make the necessary changes.

Every year, the Lee County health departments inspects about 2,000 public pools and spas. In 2018, 60% of them did not pass inspection.

The health department said in each inspection, they stress the importance of maintaining a high level of safety to prevent health threats to swimmers and employees.

Some visitors and families said they hope the health department inspects them more.

“If that many are falling below what the requirements are, then they need to step up,” Williams said.

Full list of public pools and spas deemed unsatisfactory in Lee County.