Keeping your Florida pool clean is not only good for visual effects by having a glimmering pool, but also for health reasons.
With more and more Florida homes going into foreclosure, many pools have become breading grounds for rare viruses.
Now we entering the ‘Zombi’ Pool era following the Zombi Property. A “zombie” property is one where the owner simply abandons it during the foreclosure process and the bank has yet to reclaim it; i.e., the property is in a state of limbo and thus, the pool as well.
‘Zombie’ pools help spread mosquito-borne viruses. Swimming pools at foreclosed homes are increasing the risk of mosquitoes-borne illness.
Do you live beside or near or even know of a ‘Zombie’ pool? Fines for unkempt pools and other associated violations vary by local government, but can run $100 or more per day, and in some county cases have accrued to upward of $20,000 in the years after the housing crash.
Why is this so important? Not only do they push out an offensive odor, they pose a public safety issues as well.
- Zombie pools increase the chance of children wandering into and drowning in an unkept and/or unprotected pool
- Zombie pools provide a major health threat
It only takes one pool to create a nasty neighborhood scourge and mosquito magnet and all this means more festering pools to breed the two species of mosquitoes that spread dengue, chikungunya and other viral diseases.
The increased risk has mosquito control officials stepping up countermeasures. And they must expend more man-hours and chemicals to prevent zombie pools from becoming breeding grounds for the insect, officials said.
These vacated, zombi pools are everywhere, even in the nicer neighborhoods. As the chlorine wears off, algae and mosquitoes thrive. Then they eat any kind of plankton in the water since there are no fish to eat them.
So high-tech and pricey pesticides are the temporary cure. We wouldn’t recommend that the homeowner attempt to do anything, except call mosquito control.
So who is responsible for keeping these pools clean? The homeowner that is in foreclosure who has more than likely vacated the property or the bank?
Fines won’t clean these dirty, bacteria filled,algae-caked cesspools. People do… and that takes time and money. The most successful way so far to get these dirty pools clean has been personally calling the bank who holds the mortgage on the house and discuss the pool issues and even overgrowth if necessary.
This requires some diplomacy because the banks officially do not own the properties yet, but in some cases the bank will hire a pool cleaning company to take on the cleaning and maintenance of that zombie properties pool, but don’t expect that overnight, it could take weeks.
Banks need to reclaim these abandoned foreclosed homes more quickly. Many homes sit around for months, even years, before the bank reclaims ownership.
Mosquito control units are eventually called in to administer pesticides at these abandoned swimming pools, but by this time the damage may already be done. And this is only a temporary fix.
Simply draining the pools may help a little, but after a few good rainstorms, the problem returns. Demolition or pool remediation are the only long-term solutions.
If you live in the Tampa Florida area, particularly a foreclosure-ridden area, keeping these zombi pools under control is a must! Here are some helpful tips:
- Eliminate standing water on your property to discourage mosquitoes from settling in.
- Report “zombie” properties and pools to the city. Action is more likely if you’re persistent.
Help us keep Tampa clean by controlling the Tampa Bay area zombi pool problem by reporting these pools to the city so action can be taken.