While having a small, portable wading pool in your campsite may seem to be a relaxing and enjoyable way to cool off in the West Virginia summer heat, it is very unsafe. Lately, we have found many unit campsites that have brought the smaller, blow-up or plastic lined wading pools, usually used in family backyards for toddlers and young children.

These types of pools are health hazards when the water is not properly cleaned and sanitized. Common bacteria found in these pools ranges from E. Coli, cryptosporidium (which causes diarrhea), giardia, hepatitis A to noroviruses, just to mention a few. Without regular filtration and testing of the pool water, these bacteria can affect more than just your campsite. Just adding chlorine (bleach) is not sufficient to kill all of the bacteria and some bacteria have become chlorine-resistant.

While prohibiting these types of pools in campsites is not shown in the Jamboree Guidebook, the State of West Virginia, Department of Public Health has determined that they are unsafe and should not be used. In order to permit the use of these pools in campsites, they would have to be subject to state inspection of water quality, filtration, and other health regulations. Information on safe and healthy water for swimming can be found at: www.cdc.gov/healthy water/swimming/residential/disinfection-testing.html

If you and your troop are in need of heat relief, consider spending time at the Standup Paddleboarding, Water Reality (Goodrich Lake West), or The Pools (west of Jack Furst Drive and Delta Pass). Of course, drinking water and resting in the shade are other good methods for cooling off.

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