by Rob Cox July 16, 2014
The mortgage crisis of 2008-2009 left a lot of destruction in its wake. One unfortunate effect of the high number of foreclosed homes was neglected swimming pools. As payments became harder to make, pool owners stopped maintaining their pools, and when they moved out, the mortgage company, thousands of miles away and unable to effectively maintain the pool, also did nothing.
Consequently, this led to an increase in cases of West Nile Virus (WNV), and other such diseases, as mosquitos set up home in abandoned swimming pools. Mosquitos need only an inch of water to breed, and neglected pools, partially constructed pools left unfinished, or pools unable to maintain their water level due to water restrictions - also present a community hazard.
According to the Sacramento Mosquito Control District, just one neglected swimming pool can produce millions of mosquitos - infecting an entire neighborhood and putting your family and community at risk for West Nile virus. It's become a big issue in California, and other states where pools are more prevalent, such as Texas, Arizona and Florida. William K. Reisen, Entomologist with UC Davis that has studied an outbreak near Bakersfield, California concluded that abandoned pools 'can increase the spectrum of competent avian hosts, the efficiency of enzootic amplification, and the risk for urban epidemics'. Meaning, it's a serious health issue.
West Nile Virus is a serious concern nationwide, don't let your pool or a neighbor's pool become a breeding ground for a disease which has been documented in over 40,000 cases, involving 1668 fatalities since 1999. (CDC.gov/westnile/)