Aerial backyard pool surveys focus on poorly maintained swimming pools and other back yard water features. These aerial surveys help the District locate and eradicate backyard mosquito sources.
Due to the success of the previous aerial surveys in helping us detect neglected swimming pools and ponds in a timely manner, we now consider aerial surveys to be a vital part of our urban mosquito control program.
Beginning in April or May each year, initial emphasis will focus on regions where there was significant West Nile virus activity in prior seasons.
The District will receive the results of the aerial surveys and determine which pools need immediate attention. District Technicians will then begin the process of contacting the pool owners to arrange for the pools to be checked and treated if they are developing mosquitoes. As a result of past surveys and tips from the public, the District has cataloged over 1600 potential neglected pools. A single poorly maintained swimming pool can produce millions of mosquitoes which can cause West Nile virus risk for an entire neighborhood.
Response to the aerial survey program has been encouraging. District Technicians who have contacted and explained to property owners the health risk posed by poorly maintained swimming pools have noted that most of the owners have taken immediate steps to resolve the problem. Although formal enforcement has not been necessary, individuals who choose not to cooperate with the District may be subject to the formal abatement process and fines of up to $1000.00 per day may be levied.
Aerial surveys will continue throughout the summer to help the District eliminate any backyard pool sources that could enhance the spread of West Nile virus in the community. In addition, the District will be analyzing data on real estate foreclosures to expand it's surveillance efforts to detect un maintained swimming pools. To date, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Santa Clara County.