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Popular Pools Shut Down by State

State health officials close local pools, future uncertain as inspection process unfolds.

State health officials have closed the pool at several pools in Skokie, Lincolnwood and Niles, saying the facilities failed to prove they've complied with a new state safety standard.

A list released this month by the The Illinois Department of Public Health shows roughly 500 facilities, including municipal, school, public, condominium and hotel pools that haven't complied with a state law mirroring the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Act, which was designed to prevent drowning deaths after a 7-year-old girl became trapped underwater by the strong suction of a hot tub drain and drowned in 2002.


The following pools are currently closed due to code:

  • (Skokie)
  • (Morton Grove)
  • Bryn Mawr Country Club (Lincolnwood)
  • (Skokie)
  • (Niles)
  • Grove Motel (Morton Grove)
  • (Skokie)  

That law requires pool operators, such as park districts, to install types of pool drain covers prevent dangerous suction power that can cause swimmers to become stuck.

The state's deadline to meet the new standards was Oct. 1.

Melaney Arnold, the state's public health department spokeswoman, said a spot on the non-compliant list doesn't necessarily mean a pool is unsafe or has faulty equipment. Instead, it could be that a facility is awaiting approval for permits, or awaiting inspection.

"If a facility needed to do construction to become compliant, they needed to apply with the Department of Public Health to get a permit," she said.

Once the work is completed, she said, the facility needs to be re-inspected and "at that point they’ll mark down in compliance," adding that if a facility "hasn't contacted us to come investigate, we still show them as being non-compliant."

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Christine Wolf October 06, 2011 at 08:06 PM
I'm sorry. A vision of Augustus Gloop from the Johnny Depp version of Willy Wonka just popped into my head. I can't seem to get it out. Not funny at all.
George Slefo October 06, 2011 at 09:01 PM


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