The Hidden Dangers That Lurk in Your Pool

Are you aware of the possible dangers that lurk underneath the surface of your pool?

The germs and bacterias found in pools can pose some serious threats known as Recreation Water Illness or RWIs. This is not to say that we should avoid pools… after all, what is better than a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the pool? NOTHING! However, we do have to be aware of possible problems and learn how to prevent them.

“Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems.” (MedicineNet)

The Problem

Even though drowning is the most common cause of pool-related injury, other aquatic dangers exist as well.

The spread of disease and imbalance of pool chemicals are factors that must be considered. Pools are home to hundreds of swimmers every day and thus a potential medium for germs. While some people take proper cleaning precautions before entering the pool, a majority do not- bringing sweat, body oil, grime and waste residue with them.

A common misconception is that if you enter a public pool and smell chemicals, the pool is clean. This is not the case. The heavy chemical smell is often not from chlorine, but rather chloramines, a mix of chlorine and contaminants, that may have formed in the water. Chloramines are much less effective at eliminating germs and could mean there’s actually not enough chlorine in the water. Another effect of chemical imbalance could be the development of red or itchy eyes when a swimmer opens them underwater. This often implies a pH imbalance, which also requires more chlorine to fix.

The Prevention

  • This may sound like a joke, but don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • ^ Don’t swallow the pool water.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the bathroom. Germs on your body end up in the water.
  • Remind your children that going to the bathroom inside the pool is NOT okay.
  • Check pH levels on a regular basis.