Green pools are a breeding haven for mosquitos and a great danger to our communities. MCBOS/Buster Johnson/File Photo
LAKE HAVASU CITY — Standing pools of water, from swimming pools to bird baths, are about to become very popular as the summer months approach.
With any standing pool of water, the Mohave County Health Department always advises folks to be aware of standing water turning a green color. The green color represents the growth of algae, which is a known habitat for mosquitoes.
“With temperatures reaching over 110 degrees during our hot summer days, green pools have always been a major concern for Mohave County,” Supervisor Buster Johnson said.
“Green pools are normally easy to treat with the right chemicals; however, some homes around the county are left abandoned or are in the process of foreclosure — often times leaving the property in the care of a banking institute miles away. These properties can sometimes be left unmaintained for months, resulting in a serious health concern for Mohave County residents,” Johnson continued.
Every summer the Mohave County Health Department receives a handful of complaints regarding green pools from neighboring property owners concerned about mosquito outbreaks in their neighborhood.
“When it comes to abandoned properties, getting the pools taken care of is not always an easy task,” Johnson said.
When a complaint is received, an environmental health inspector goes to the property to verify the complaint is valid. They then must send the property owner who is on the assessment roles a Notice of Violation (NOV) asking them to fix the problem within a certain amount of time. They must comply from 24 hours to 15 days, depending on the severity of the situation.
If the property has been foreclosed on and returned to the bank, environmental health staff must then draft a letter to the banking institute requiring them to fix the issue again within a certain amount of days.
If nothing is done at this point, it is turned over to the courts who then must grant the county inspector permission to go onto the property to fix the problem. The court will also place a lien on the property for fines and cost of the repairs. The process at times can take several months if the property owner or bank does not fix the problem with the first NOV letter.
“Green pools are a breeding haven for mosquitos and a great danger to our communities, which is why it is so important for folks to report these concerns to our local health department right away,” Johnson said.
Mosquitoes can carry and transmit the deadly West Nile Virus (WNV). Mosquitoes carrying the virus commonly lay eggs in green swimming pools. The eggs hatch and emerge as flying, biting adults in as little as seven to ten days. A single green pool can produce millions of potentially WNV infected mosquitoes over the course of a summer.
If you know of or are concerned that a green swimming pool is in your neighborhood, please report it to the Mohave County Environmental Health Department @ 928-757-0901. If you don’t live within Mohave County, you can contact your local health department in your area. All complainants can remain anonymous.
(Written by Buster Johnson.)