Dirty pools in Phoenix?


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 15, 2007
Eastern Pennsylvania
Recently, a member on my German Shepherd dog e-mail list posted that West Nile virus has become endemic in Phoenix, and he laid the blame squarely on man-made lakes on golf courses and on the ever growing number of private swimming pools. I objected to the latter, saying that private pools are sanitized with chlorine and the water is circulated and filtered. IOW, they are not scummy ponds of standing water offering the ideal mosquito breeding environment.

His response shocked me.

" There are numerous private residence that don't routinely take care of their
pools. This has become a major issue in the Valley. Bad enough that there
are both State regs and local ordinances to try and correct the problem of
pool owners that allow their pools to become mosquito breeding grounds
(pardon the pun). Local TV stations continue to educated people on the need
to talk care of their pools, and overhead helicopter videos show many of the
pools and their locations.

Is this true? You folks in Phoenix have to deal with helicopter fly-overs and video records of your private backyard oasis? Talk about invasion of privacy!

Those of us who visit forums such as this one aren't likely to have scum ponds, unless some disaster happened -- and then we're here to learn how to fix it. But his comment made me curious about the prevalence of dirty and/or neglected pools. I haven't seen any in my area. What about where you live?



LifeTime Supporter
May 22, 2007
Toms River, NJ
Next door they pulled the IG liner a month ago. The water that collected is pretty bad. Not the kind of neighbor you can talk too. Haven't noticed any others.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 25, 2007
Alamo, CA
Coincidentally, I had a layover in Phoenix on a recent trip. As we flew in and out, I noticed a LOT of swimming pools and a surprising number of them were very green. I can't guess the percentage, but I did see at least a dozen that were nearly John Deere green.

In my neighborhood, I've seen a couple of pools that are half-full with murky green-brown water and leaves. I just don't understand the mindset that allows some people to let their investments (house, yard, pool, car, etc) go like that. :(


LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
Glendale, AZ
Unfortunately with the heat and many homes that are vacant this has been an ongoing problem. I have not heard locally that their is an extremely high rate of West Nile Virus this year, last year we had a few concentrated areas of concern.

In my area I have not seen helicopters flying overhead doing "inspections", but we do have a website and phone number to report those not in compliance "Fight the Bite" and "Green Pool Alert" are two publicized mannors to get involvement. Once a pool is reported, a county or city official will try to view the pool or water problem. If the problem is visualized, they can make access to dump mosquito eating fish, etc if there is no compliance within xx number of days. This is due to public health issue which takes priority over privacy rights.

Unfortunately we have had many drownings this year, many are when small children slip into a murkey pool and they are not readily found until it it way too late.

No worries as long as you maintain your pool.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 15, 2007
Eastern Pennsylvania
That's awful, about the kids drowning in murky pools. This might sound naive but . . . aren't there fence requirements?

I had never thought about what happens to a pool when a house goes on the market, especially if it doesn't sell right away. Or goes into foreclosure. I saw something on the Discovery channel about dumping fish into pools, I think it was in relation to properties in the wake of Katrina.

Thanks for your comments about the Phoenix area.


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
All you have to do to check it out is go to www.zillow.com and enter your address and you can see an aerial view of your home and your neighbors homes. There are other sites that show aerial views, as well.

I don't know of any routine flyovers of homes looking specifically for green pools, but I would imagine that the environmental and health agencies do flyovers of the entire state, routinely looking for many things.

I would imagine it's the same way in any area that has a large percentage of homes with pools. There are going to be those sort of people who are not going to take care of their pool and probably not their pool and home. Plus, with the rate of foreclosures being 20 times greater, there will be more.

There are special officers who go to homes to inspect complaints of green pools. They issue warnings and tickets and if you still don't get into compliance they may drain the pool. You can be prosecuted.

There have been 19 reported cases of humans infected with WNV, this year in Maricopa county - no deaths, thus far.
They fog in some areas at night when they have discovered infected mosquitoes in a particular area.

Maricopa county health info on WNV

Well maintained pools and golf course lakes are not the problem. It's areas where there is stagnant water that is the problem.