The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is beginning inspections at some public aquatic venues this week.

The public health order issued Monday, June 1, by the New Mexico Department of Health allows public swimming pools to reopen, but only for lap swimming and lessons. In addition, public swimming pools may only operate at up to 50 percent of their maximum capacity and with social distancing. At this time, those facilities will be inspected by NMED.

NMED’s inspections ensure that pools are prepared to open in a safe and sanitary way, including that proper disinfectant levels as well as other water chemistry parameters are met. NMED’s inspections also ensure lifeguards are properly trained and certified to administer CPR. All public aquatic venues are required to follow the CDC’s “Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19” once they are permitted to operate.

In general, NMED’s pool regulations apply to public pools, aquatic centers, recreation parks, schools, colleges and universities, organizational camps, daycare facilities, clubs, recreation districts, city, municipal, county and state pools and pools operated by other political subdivisions. NMED does not have jurisdiction within Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque, which have their own pool safety programs.

The Department will work as expeditiously as possible with its available resources to complete these inspections. NMED expects to complete the first round of inspections by the end of the week. For questions about NMED’s pool program, email aquatics.program@state.nm.us or call 505-222-9500.

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