Health officials close down pool at Waco area hotel

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Waco-McLennan County Health District closed down the pool at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Lacy Lakeview after members of a local family who stayed there became ill after taking a swim.

(Photo by Erin Zeller)

The family members developed fever, coughs, chills, and body aches and went to a local emergency room to be treated.

They filed a complaint with the Waco-McLennan County Health District, which sent an inspector to the property on Tuesday.

Public records show the inspector flagged the hotel for several violations including a ladder that was missing a step, low alkalinity levels, and not having an acceptable operating ventilation system.

The records indicate the Fairfield pool must stay closed until the violations are corrected and a $75 inspection fee is paid.

Raven Hollingsworth with Lake Air Pool Supply says a ventilation system is necessary for the safety of indoor pools.

"Without proper ventilation, you can sanitize and oxidize, try to keep it as clean as possible, but it's not actually going anywhere," Hollingsworth said.

"Getting that clean air in and the old air out is extremely important.”

He said public pools are at a greater risk than privately-owned pools to develop bacteria.

"You get one sick person in there and we don't have proper chemicals taking care of it, you may have a bunch more sick people," he said.

He said hundreds of people a day can use public pools, which have more systems and chemicals that must be up to standard to be considered safe to use.

“Humidity creeps up, who knows what's in the air you're breathing. You can get coughs, fevers, all sorts of stuff like that,” he said.

"If you're at a hotel and the pool is open but it's cloudy, don't get in it. If it feels way too humid or hard to breathe, that again could lead back to a vent system so stay out of it," Hollingsworth said.