For decades Aussie’s have loved getting out and having a swim in their backyard pool, it’s a tradition of sorts. But how can you be sure the water you’re swimming in isn’t infested with nasty parasites?
A recent study conducted by Simon Reid of the The University of Queensland and Una Ryan from Murdoch University has shed a whole new light on the cleanliness of backyard pools, and left a whole lot of people asking the question “How dirty is my pool?”
Why are they in my pool?
Many of the bugs found in swimming pools are resistant to sanitisers such as chlorine and represent a new threat to most pool owners.
The majority of bugs that end up in our pools originate from us humans not cleaning adequately (particularly our bums) prior to swimming, and can lead to all kinds of gastrointestinal distress, including but not limited to: diarrhoea, dehydration, weight loss, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting!
Can they be stopped?
Unfortunately most of these contaminations are never identified as few people bother seeing a doctor when they get sick, and even fewer decide to send of samples for analysis so they’re incredibly difficult to defend against.
A lot of the bugs entering the water are Chlorine resistant, and are difficult to kill using conventional filtration methods. One way of ensuring your pool is safe is to treat the water with Chlorine Dioxide, this will kill off anything that isn’t supposed to be living in the water. Simple things like listed below can help like water balance.
Is there anything I can do?
The best course of action is to ensure your pool is always properly sanitised, and your pool equipment is in good working condition, and if you ever do get sick immediately after swimming in your pool to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Measures can be taken to control the nasty things entering your pool by showering before you swim and cleaning yourself very well. Always keep your filtration clean, especially if you’ve got a cartridge filter.
Keeping your water balance in check is an important factor in keeping your pool clean. Small things like salt level and pH can greatly effect your pools ability to clean itself.
You should also keep your swimming pool clean, remove all debris as soon as possible and run your pool cleaner whenever necessary.
My pool has a strong Chlorine Smell
A strong Chlorine smell isn’t a good sign. The strong odor indicates the presence of Chloramines in high numbers. Chloramines are the result of Chlorine breaking down underirables in your water, and have little sanitising power.
Chloramines are best delt with by shocking the water, either with a large dose of Chlorine, a non-chlorine shock or chlorine dioxide. The odor should clear up quickly, but not necessarily the other nasty bugs in the water.
Can I put my head underwater in the pool?
Unless Chlorine levels are above about 4ppm, putting your head under the water should be fine. Try not to drink too much pool water though, as the nasty bugs in your pool water tend to be transported by consuming contaminated water.
Some people suffer from ear infections after swimming and while it’s possible these are caused by certain pathogens and bugs in the pool water, it’s also likely that prolonged and repeated wetting of the ear is to blame. It’s always best to seek medical advice when you’ve got unexplained medical issues after swimming.