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Is your pool & spa water making you sick?
Viruses, bacteria, and protozoa are the culprits in most swimming pool-related sickness outbreaks. Mucus, saliva, blood and skin of infected swimmers can directly contaminate pool & spa water with sufficient pathogens to cause infections in other swimmers who come in contact with it.
Recreational Water Illness (RWI's) can be a wide variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli O157:H7.
What kills cryptosporidium in pools?
Cryptosporidium is a chlorine-resistant parasite. Once an outbreak has occurred in a pool, anyone swimming in the pool is at risk. Operators are advised to close their pools immediately and begin the hyperchlorination process. Hyperchlorination is the only way to eliminate and kill Cryptosporidium.
Why do pools sometimes have a chlorine or chemical smell?
Healthy pools don’t smell like chemicals. Pool water is often described as smelling like chlorine, but a well-managed pool shouldn’t have an odor. The pool water scent does not come from the chlorine itself but rather from chemical compounds called chloramines, which build up in pool water when it is improperly treated.
Chloramines result from the combination of two ingredients: (1) the chlorine disinfectants added to sanitize swimming pools, and (2) perspiration, oils and urine that enter pools from swimmers’ bodies. Chloramines can be eliminated using chlorine. “Shock treatment” or “super-chlorination” is the practice of adding extra chlorine to pools to destroy ammonia and the organic compounds that combine with chlorine to make chloramines.
What does it mean to sanitize your pool?
Sanitizers are used to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of viruses, algae and other organic contaminants that enter your pool water by way of wind, rain, dust and swimmers. Best practices for keeping your pool cleaner, healthier and safer is to use a combination of chlorine, calcium hypochlorite (either daily, weekly) and pool filter sanitization twice yearly (minimum).
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