The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on swimming pools that fail to properly filter water.
The agency says the systems are not designed to filter out harmful contaminants, but instead just create a stagnant environment that makes swimming more challenging.
On the one hand, it makes swimming fun, and it’s great for kids to go to, but it can also cause problems for those who suffer from lung, heart, and kidney disease, according to a letter released Monday by the EPA’s Office of Public Health.
In a news release, the agency said that, based on the number of reports it received of the pools failing to properly purify water, it believes there may be unsafe levels of arsenic and cadmium in the water.
The pool is supposed to be disinfected with chloramines, which are a mixture of chlorine and chlorine-containing disinfectants.
But some pools don’t have chlorine in them at all, according the EPA.
The problem is, the chlorine is used to make sure the pool doesn’t get dirty and the disinfectant is used in a way that can lead to water entering the pool that can be harmful to aquatic life, according a statement from the agency.
EPA has issued a warning to pool owners, warning that pools that don’t meet certain requirements may be at risk of contamination.
It also has asked the pool owners to fix the systems within three weeks.
If they don’t fix it within that time frame, EPA will take enforcement action.
The EPA also says the pools in question are being used in “a high volume” and there’s no way to ensure that they are properly disinfected.
“The public health threat is so great, that no matter how you look at it, it’s going to cause harm to people, to the aquatic life that we love,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the release.
“If we can’t do anything about it, the pool is going to have a big, big problem.”
The agency’s letter came after the U.K. government announced plans to ban the use of water purifiers in pools.
The ban was announced in February after reports that chlorine was being used improperly in water purification systems in some pools.