Hattiesburg official gives pool safety tips for residents

Hattiesburg official gives pool safety tips for residents
Summer time is coming fast here in the Pine Belt, and that means enjoying a relaxing day in the pool. (Photo source: WDAM archive)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Many swimming pools around the Pine Belt will be open for business Memorial Day weekend.

As temperatures rise, many South Mississippians are looking forward to taking a dip, but many are also thinking about pool safety.

"The main (thing) I look for are lifeguards in case someone is drowning," Hattiesburg resident Dexter Williamson said.

Resident Akilah Nance said, "I see a lot of dirt and leaves around. I make sure that they're clean always. Like at an apartment building. I make sure they clean like they are supposed to."

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80 percent of pools had at least one violation.

City of Hattiesburg Parks and Recreation General Manager Ann Jones said pool safety is a number one priority for Hattiesburg's community pools.

"Everything that we do from lifeguards to pool chemicals to swim test with the kids focuses on safety," Jones said.

Chemical levels in the pools are checked on an hourly basis.

"We use a Taylor test kit," Jones said. "It tests many of the different water values, like I said, once an hour we maintain our pH values and our chlorine values."

Jones said outdoor pools in South Mississippi should look out for unwanted guests.

"When we open we want to make sure there are not sharp objects that have been tossed in the pool," Jones said. "We make sure there are not snakes that have gotten into the skimmers."

The city said it tries its best to ensure there are enough life guards on hand to protect both adults and children.

Jones said people should never use alcohol around the pool or other bodies of water. She also suggests that swimmers not dive in water if they are not certain how deep the water is.

City of Hattiesburg community pools open Tuesday, May 31, at 8 a.m.