Swimming Pools: Dirtier Than You Think
Germs are flourishing in day-care and motel pools.
If you’ve got a bad case of cootie paranoia when it comes to swimming pools, you’re not imagining things.
According to a report released this week by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately one out of eight public pools was closed in 2008 because of “serious code violations.” In other words, the water hadn’t been adequately filtered and/or disinfected, creating serious breeding grounds for germs.
To figure out just how bad the state of the public pool is, federal researchers analyzed data from 121,000 pool inspections in 13 states. The winner, with the highest percentage of immediate closures, were child-care facility pools (17.2 percent). But hotel/motel pools, which are frequented by adults as well as kids, came in second, with 15.3 percent of pools in those places requiring immediate closure. Kiddie/wading pools had a 13.5 percent rate of immediate closure.
May 24-30 marks the CDC’s campaign to raise awareness of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI). Sicknesses resulting from exposure to contaminated water include diarrhea caused by infection with the germs E.Coli and Giardia. These illnesses can be serious or even fatal. Other dangers from inadequately treated water include wound infections as well as infections of the skin, ears and eyes. Moms-to-be and kids are especially vulnerable.