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pool water testing Mindful Health®

Is Your Pool Contaminated?

July 11, 2018

Floating in a cool swimming pool in the summertime can be relaxing, but it can also be bad for your health. Germ-contaminated pools can cause illnesses and infections, so it’s important to protect your health while you swim this summer. Listed below are five pool care tips that can help you and your loved ones stay safe this summer.

5 Pool Contamination Tips
  • Know the sources. When it comes to pool contamination one of the most well-known sources is human waste (urine and fecal matter). Other sources that you should be wary of include human sweat, animal fecal matter (such as bird droppings), dirt, and rain runoff. Residue from sunscreen, lotion, bug repellent, and makeup can also be floating in the pool if people forget to wash off before taking a dip.
  • Know the dangers. The germs from the waste and rain runoff can lead to Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI). You are exposed to RWIs if you accidentally swallow the water or breathe in the mists. Germs such as E.coli, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Shigella can cause diarrhea as well as eye, skin, respiratory, and ear infections.
  • Practice proper swimming pool maintenance. A well-maintained pool is less likely to be contaminated. So, it’s important to keep your swimming pool clean. Regularly remove any debris (such as leaves or dirt) floating in the pool, vacuum the pool, and adjust the chemicals. The CDC recommends that the free chlorine concentration should be at least 1ppm and that the pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. You can find more helpful tips here.
  • Investigate. How do you make sure that your public pool is clean enough to swim in? You can ask the maintenance staff how often the pools are cleaned. You can also investigate the public pool yourself. Bring a few pool water testing strips along and test the water before you get in. They’re easy to use and you’ll get an accurate reading of the chlorine and pH levels. 
  • Reduce your risks. Whether you are using a public or private pool, do your part to ensure that the pool is kept clean. Rinse off before you get in the pool. Take the kids on frequent potty breaks and check their diapers frequently. Remember do not change their diapers poolside as this can potentially contaminate the pool. Lastly, protect yourself by avoiding swallowing the water or getting in the water if you have an open wound.
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