- Associated Press - Saturday, May 27, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Mecklenburg County allows public pools to open for the summer without an inspection - something three other large counties in North Carolina won’t allow.

Mecklenburg County does follow state law that allows permits for pools to open without an inspection as long as they are checked within two months.

But officials in Forsyth, Guilford and Wake counties all say they won’t let a pool open for the summer without someone checking for things like exposed wires, proper chlorine levels, adequate safety equipment and proper drains.

More than 350 of the 1,400 public swimming pools in Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte area haven’t been inspected so far in 2017, The Charlotte Observer reports (https://bit.ly/2qoLQus).

That number included six pools that were shut down last summer because of safety problems but are on track to reopen without an immediate inspection this year.

“We’re investigating that,” Mecklenburg Environmental Health Division Manager Bill Hardister told the newspaper Friday.

One of those pools, at First Ward Place apartments, was open Friday even though it was closed last summer when inspectors discovered no chlorine in the water, algae and mildew growing on pool walls and inadequate records on chemical and drain check. It hasn’t been inspected since reopening.

In Forsyth County, inspector Ken Bowyer said officials began inspecting all pools before they open for the season 10 years ago.

“We would be issuing immediate suspensions (later in the season) and I would find two, three, sometimes four critical violations … After a handful of those, we decided if we’re going to be serious, we have to make sure there’s compliance met on the front end,” said Bowyer, who is manager of the Forsyth County pool permitting and inspections program.

Mecklenburg County posts its pool inspections on its website .

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com


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