Do you know what’s in your public pool? A recent Water Quality and Health Council survey found that almost half (47%) of respondents admit to one or more behaviors that contribute to an unhealthy pool. One in five (17 percent) say they’ve urinated in the pool – and eight in ten (78 %) are convinced their fellow swimmers are guilty. As far as showering goes – forget it. Roughly one third (35%) pass the shower without stopping and three quarters (73%) say their fellow swimmers fail to shower before swimming.
Why Worry? Unclean water can lead to recreational water illnesses (RWIs) – diarrhea, respiratory illness, and ear and skin infections. According to the CDC, these illnesses are on the rise. Between 2005 and 2006, 78 outbreaks were reported in 31 states –the largest number of outbreaks ever in a two-year period. Close to 4,500 people were affected.
However, most respondents (63%) are unaware of illnesses associated with contaminated pool water. In fact, less than one quarter consider the frequency of pool cleaning and chemical treatment (23%) and even less (16 %) think about chlorine levels to maintain clean pool water. Remember, using your senses and following the CDC’s six simple swimming steps will help lead to a healthy and fun swimming summer.