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Inspectors have closed 36 pools in Cass County since June 9 due to water quality issues

(KVLY)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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More than 30 pools have been closed since June 9 due to issues with water quality, according to Fargo Cass Public Health.

Pools in Cass County get inspected twice a month by Fargo Cass Public Health and they can’t reopen until the water is retested. Last year, health inspectors shut down 282 pools.

“Anybody who goes to an indoor pool or an outdoor pool should be able to ask an operator or manager, ‘hey, can you show me your pool results?’” Grant Larson, the director of environmental quality at the agency, said.

This is the time of year when children and adults put on their bathing suits that were collecting dust during the harsh North Dakota winter and spring.

Jamie Olson is the facilities manager at West Fargo Park District. He’s busy prepping for the summer season.

“I think it's the cleanest place you can go, I honestly do,” Olson said of Veterans Memorial Pool.

Since we’re still living in the coronavirus pandemic, Olson said steps have been taken at Veterans Memorial Pool to promote social distancing while continuing to make it a fun environment.

“We do not have the public bathrooms open,” Olson said. “We only have one set of family bathrooms open on each side. We have showers on the deck. So as soon as you come in, you pay your fee...you take a shower, you can use our facility.”

We looked over more than three dozen Cass County inspections of pools.

There were pools similar to Veteran’s Memorial that passed with flying colors. But, then there were problem pools.

The pool at Quality Suites in Fargo was cited for several issues and Fargo Cass Public Health shut the pool down in March.

Outside of the hotel, the owner told Valley News Live he closed Quality Suites because the pandemic has hurt business. He hopes to reopen the hotel and pool in the next few months.

Health inspectors also closed the pool at Hawthorn Suites in November and it remains that way.

“They had structural, mechanical, or...hard fixes they need[ed] to fix,” Larson said of the closed pools.

According to Fargo Cass Public Health, inspectors closed the pool and spa at the Doubletree and the spa at Homewood Suites on June 16. Both are in West Fargo and have since reopened.

“We went out and tested the pools onsite, and during that onsite tests, they did not meet our water quality standards. And so we had them shut down,” Larson said.

Last year, the health department closed 282 pools. This year from January to February, it closed 39. Health officials stopped inspections due to COVID-19, and since restarting on June 9, they've closed 36 pools.

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