Staying Safe From Public Pool Contamination

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an alarming report last week. Nearly 60 percent of Atlanta’s public pools were contaminated with E.coli caused by fecal matter.

“That's why they specify please shower before you enter the pool to eliminate a lot of the contamination,” explained Doug Turnbull, an environmental supervisor.

Swimmers are the leading cause of public pool contamination. In some cases, it can cause skin rashes, sinus infections, or swimmer's itch.

Turnbull said, “Most of them will cause GI distress. You'll get flu-like symptoms in a bad case, diarrhea, and items like that.”

Experts said prevention lies with cautious swimmers. Wash your body before and after swimming. Also, take your children on bathroom breaks every hour, whether they ask for it or not.

Alabama does not have any regulations enforcing routine inspections. It is up to management at Westgate Park to monitor their facilities 24/7—and they do.

“If it recognizes through a probe that the chlorine level is low, it automatically turns on a chlorine feeder or automatically turns on an acid feeder and that keeps our levels stable throughout the day,” explained Kelly Carter, Aquatics Manager for Dothan Leisure Services.

At the end of the day, it will not matter whether pool systems work properly if users remain careless. The surest way to keep pools clean is through you, the swimmers.

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