AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - Thousands of families will try to stay cool in public pools this summer. But there can be serious health risks in that water. There are a range of illnesses caused by swallowing water contaminated with bacteria. The CDC says routine pool inspections help reduce the risk.
For the third day, hot temperatures baked the western part of the state. Many in Amherst sought relief at the public pool.
"The water can be pretty cold on hot days I noticed. But it is refreshing, yeah. It's definitely refreshing," said 10-year-old George Prodanas of Amherst.
The CDC says swimming is the third most popular exercise activity. George and his family visit the public pool several times a week. "It's better than our little wading pool for one-year-olds back at our house and the sprinklers," said George's little sister, Nina.
But as more people visit public pools, the risk of catching water related illnesses, like a bacterial infection, increases; especially if the pools are not treated. The War Memorial Pool is one of two seasonal pools in Amherst. Lifeguards test for Chlorine and PH levels every hour, every day.
"They do an excellent job and my husband is a lifeguard and we see him testing pools. And we see the manager here testing quite often. And if the pool is at all contaminated they'll shut the pool down," said Susie Prodanas in Amherst on Tuesday.
Division Director of Trees and Grounds, Alan Snow, told 22News in addition to random inspections throughout the summer, both Amherst pools are inspected before they open for the season. Pools are also vacuumed once a week.