Public Swimming Pool Precautions

Microorganisms can be found in swimming pools, introduced in a variety of ways. Illness and infection can be traced to faecal contamination in the water. Faecal contamination can be released by someone swimming in the pool, birds, and rodents.

If a swimming pool is well managed, outbreaks of illness and infection can be prevented.

Other pathogenic contaminants can come from vomit, saliva, mucous, and skin. Viruses and fungi can also be a contaminant present in the water if the pool is not managed well.

Opportunist pathogens, bacteria, can be spread from the contaminated person to the water or on surfaces.

Non-faecaly derived bacteria may present an infection hazard also. Certain free living aquatic bacteria and amoebae can grow in pools also comprising a major threat to a person’s well being.

Outdoor pools may also be subject to microorganisms derived directly from pets and wildlife.

If a swimming pool is managed properly and all of the sanitation guidelines for public health and safety are met this should not present a problem. But if they are not being met, you and you loved ones who swim there could become very ill.

Last summer I decided to begin swimming once a day for exercise in at a local public swimming pool. I swam for about one week and became very ill with an ear and sinus infection. I was placed on antibiotics by my physician, and told I could not swim until I was over the infection. It took 3 weeks to clear up. I decided to swim, but protect my ears and nose from the water. I swam a few more times and became sick once more. More antibiotics and no swimming.

This time however, turned into months of illnesses and doctor visits. I had noticed some algae at this pool one day, and pointed it out to a young life guard. He said it would be addressed, but the next time I went, it was still there.

That is the last time I swam in that pool. I am sure that the young people who were in charge there were not on to of things when it came to sanitation, and the dangers of illness and disease from bacteria and microorganisms in the pool.

The doctors believe that the swimming pool was the culprit that brought on my long bout of illness.

Check with your local health department, or parks and recreations department, to find out if the public swimming pools in your area are safe before swimming there.


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