Know Your Pool
Know Your Pool
Your Comprehensive Guide to Using and Enjoying your Swimming Pool
(This professional pool care advice and information is provided courtesy of Splash's Pools)
Your pool may look beautiful and inviting, but... is it perfectly healthy?
Let's help you keep your pool safe to enjoy.
Click the button to read on ...
Why You Need to Keep a 'Look Out'
Your pool may be your 'go-to' place for summer relaxation and enjoyment, but what if you're sharing your pool with bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other and nasties?
It's hard to imagine - and lots of people just don't 'get it' - that pool water that looks OK, just might not be OK. Having your pool looking lovely isn't a guarantee that it's a healthy pool to swim in.
Water bearing high levels of pathogens, (the bacteria, parasites, and viruses that make you sick), can cause temporary illness, lead to longer-term disease, perhaps even causing life-long health complications. In rare cases, unhealthy pool water can cause death. The most common ailments caused by pathogens in pool water include diarrhoea, skin rashes, infected ears, nose, and throat, and infections to the eyes and lungs.
The truth about water-borne bacteria, parasites, and viruses, is that they're all invisible. The first thing you see is someone with an infection. Water-borne pathogens can be controlled, but more importantly, can be completely prevented.
What to Look Out For
There are many forms of water-borne infections. In this article we have listed some of the most common you should guard against.
This is a parasite that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, and is highly contagious, so spreading rapidly in pools and spas. Cryptosporidium is a very serious parasite that's highly resistant to chlorine. It has the ability to survive more than a week in pools that are correctly chlorinated and regularly maintained.
Giardia infection (giardiasis) is a bowel (gut) infection caused by a tiny parasite called Giardia lamblia, also known as Giardia intestinalis. The parasite is a single-celled organism that can attach itself in large numbers to the wall of your bowel and interferes with your body's natural absorption of nutrients. It causes causes diarrhoea, fatigue and cramps.
Shigella infection (also known as shigellosis) is an infection of the digestive tract (or gut), caused by Shigella bacteria. You need to ingest only a small number of these bacteria to become ill. It affects the digestive system, and it is spread through contaminated water or food.
Norovirus infection is a viral infection. The virus is easily spread from person to person. This virus is also known as the 'Winter Vomiting Bug, and as the nickname suggests, the novovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It is highly contagious until at least two days after the symptoms stop.
The E.coli make up a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. These bacteria are found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. The forms that make you sick cause severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.
This is a pathogen that causes a pneumonia-type illness called 'Legionnaires Disease'. Not instantly obvious, the infection starts with mild, flu-like symptoms, and then progresses to a more serious infection that can be fatal if not treated quickly and effectively.
The salmonella bacterium is an intestinal bacterium that takes many (about 2,500!) different forms. Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually develop 6–72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, but sometimes can take up to 2 weeks to appear.
How to Avoid a 'Sick' Pool
All of the pathogens listed above are extremely contagious, and can spread rapidly in warm water. Prevention is simple, and starts at home with a 'common-sense' approach to pool water care.
Apart from daily sanitation, use a shock dose of sanitize or 'Oxy-shock' once a week to burn out residual bacteria. Ask your pool professional for the best product to use.
Especially anyone with diarrhoea, vomiting, or fever, to enter the water. Pay particular attention to young children with skin rashes.
Ask your pool professional - because times vary depending on the size of the pool, the capacity of the filtration equipment, and the local climate.
Make children use the toilet before entering the pool, and have regular toilet breaks where everyone gets out of the pool.
If There's an 'Accident'
Sometimes accidents happen, and you get faeces or vomit in the pool. Here's what to do:
So, you see, there are lots of threats to human health that could make our pool a quite unhealthy place to be. But don't worry! They're easy to avoid and control.
After all, it's easy to keep your pool healthy!
For further information regarding keeping our pool healthy, seek advice from your pool professional. We hope this information has been useful.