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Precautions can safeguard your backyard pool

Photo Town Crier File Photo The advent of summer means that local homeowners should inspect their pools for safety and consult a professional to replace necessary parts.


Although it is only June, there have already been 37 drownings and 38 near-drownings reported by the media across America, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website.

Such statistics motivate American Leak Detection specialists in the Los Altos area to offer preventive tips to keep families safe while they enjoy their pools during the summer.

“Oftentimes, pool safety is in the back of most people’s minds, but it should really be in the forefront of their thoughts when they use pools, especially their own,” said American Leak Detection CEO and President Bill Palmer. “Something as simple as knowing where the pool water pump is so that you can quickly turn it off in the event of an emergency can make a world of a difference.”

Palmer recommends the following precautionary steps before opening pools for the season.

• Check and replace necessary pool parts. Replace old flat drain covers and never use a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Install anti-vortex drain covers to minimize the risk of body and hair entrapment in the suction inlets, and consider installing a Safety Vacuum Release System that will automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected.

• Make sure it’s clean, not green. If your pool is green, it could indicate that the water contains molds, fungus, larvae or other contaminants that could make those who use the pool sick.

• Be aware of recalls and equipment reviews. Not knowing if certain components of your pool system are working properly can render your preventive efforts null and void. Check sites such as CPSC and Consumer Reports regularly for articles on recalls and reviews to ensure that your pool’s parts are in good shape.

• Consult a professional. Engage a professional to inspect your pool or spa regularly. Ask where the electrical cutoff switch is for the pool or spa pump. This area should be marked clearly so that, in an emergency, the water pump can be turned off immediately.

Loose or falling tiles and pool deck cracks – signs that the surrounding ground may be compromised by water or there is a leak in the pool system – can cause bathers to slip and fall.

Public pools and spas must implement rigid requirements, such as those in accordance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Safety Act of 2007, which enforces safety standards. But homeowners control the safety measures of private, personal pools.

“Residents should make good judgments before opening their pools for members of their families or guests. Some of these good judgments include: putting up a wall or fence at least 4 feet high around the pool; not allowing unsupervised children in the pool; being sure that at least one person in the household knows CPR; not using air-filled swimming aids as a substitute for approved life vests; and keeping rescue equipment, such as lifesaving flotation devices and a telephone, by the pool in the event of an emergency,” Palmer said.

In addition to providing pool safety inspection services, the specialists at American Leak Detection in the Los Altos area employ proprietary methods and technology combined with equipment to detect hidden pipe leaks behind walls and underground to prevent homes from requiring major home repairs.

For more information, call Peter Macaulay at (800) 900-5325, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.americanleakdetection.com.

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