Jumping in a nice pool on a hot day is awesome. Looking out at a green pool, breeding mosquitoes? Not so great. Do you have to put up with it, even if it’s not on your property? It’s why one woman called South Florida’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

It’s summertime, aka pool time. Sparking blue water in your backyard, floats and fun. It’s one reason Priscilla rented at a Hollywood complex.

Priscilla Barber: “My kids were super excited that it had a pool, and I had bought them floaties.”

Now, let’s look over Priscilla’s shoulder as she stands on her balcony on this day in May.

Priscilla Barber: “There is mosquito larva, eggs in there. It’s just disgusting. It’s nasty.”

According to government records, the pool has been a mess since November, when it was shut down.

Priscilla Barber: “They didn’t fix the pumps. They didn’t fix the pool. They didn’t treat the algae.”

Take a look at the pictures Priscilla has taken over the last few months. She says the pool goes from blue to light green, to dark green, to black, and then…

Priscilla Barber: “And they just pour bleach in it and makes the water white for a few days, and then it turns green again.”

The Hollywood Park Apartments North were cited by the Health Department in November, December, April and by the city of Dania Beach in May.

Priscilla Barber: “It’s just so gross. It bubbles.”

The pool pump has not been on for months, and Priscilla says the combination of mosquitoes and algae has made it tough on her family’s health.

Priscilla Barber: “And I’ve noticed that I’ve been having allergic symptoms, and two of my kids, just feeling a lot of phlegm in our chest, fatigue, itchy eyes.”

Priscilla has complained to the landlord…

Priscilla Barber: “And he told me that you don’t have to stay here if you don’t like the condition.”

Priscilla has not paid the rent and is leaving. The pool won’t be her problem, but she says she doesn’t want her friends who live in the building to have to continue to deal with it.

Priscilla Barber: “If you’re not going to clean it, just empty the pool.”

Well, whether it’s an apartment pool or a neighbor’s pool, Howard can you do anything if it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Absolutely. The law gives cities and counties great power to protect the public health. They can cite the owner and fine them with escalating fees to spur them to fix the pool. If that won’t work, the city or county can fix it themselves and place a lien on the property, and if someone gets sick or hurt by a dirty pool, the owner could be financially liable.”

In June, a Dania Beach magistrate held a code enforcement hearing after the building’s owners were cited.

Dania Beach magistrate: “Is anyone here from the apartment building?”

The property owner didn’t show up. Since the pool was clean that morning, they only had to pay a $100 fee, but the owner did miss a warning.

Dania Beach magistrate: “As a repeat violation, it would be a $500 fine. If it gets really bad, then it would be an irreparable violation, and it would be up to $5,000 a day fine.”

The landlord, Jacob Rimone, wouldn’t talk to me, but his attorney did, telling me they couldn’t repair the pool for awhile because they were replacing the windows in the complex. That the pool repairs were extensive with bids to solve the problem reaching $50,000; adding that the landlord is going out every day to pour chemicals in the pool to keep it clean, but Priscilla isn’t there to see it.

Priscilla Barber: “So relieved. I just feel so much better.”

Priscilla has moved into a new apartment complex with her children, but she isn’t going to forget about her old neighbors and their pool problem.

Priscilla Barber: “If I hear something about one of my neighbors saying that the pool is green again, then I’ll definitely be proactive and try to help them out.”

Nice of you to keep an eye on your friends, Priscilla, and if your neighborhood has a green pool, contact the Health Department and the city or county. You know the diseases mosquitoes can spread, and a dark pool is dangerous if a child falls in.

Problems swarming around you? Ignore the buzz. Make a splash and contact us. Hopefully things will go swimmingly.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.  

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
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