Make Healthy Pools Part Of Your Summertime Fun

Armen Hareyan's picture

A swim in the pool can be a fun and healthy summertime activity. But without the proper precautions, pools can spread germs that make swimmers sick, and the number of outbreaks is on the rise.

That is why a national partnership including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Consumers League (NCL), Water Quality and Health Council (WQ&HC), American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) has again teamed up to inform the public about preventing recreational water illnesses (RWIs). The partners want swimmers and parents to know that what they see, feel, smell and hear can help them recognize the difference between a healthy pool and a risky one.

Chlorination is part of the first line of defense against the germs in swimming pools. In fact, according to a recent survey by WQ&HC, 82 percent of respondents recognized that chlorine is essential to help protect the water quality and swimmers' health.


"A well-maintained, properly chlorinated swimming pool or spa is key to preventing illnesses from waterborne pathogens including viruses like norovirus, and bacteria like E. coli, and Shigella," said WQ&HC member and noted Michigan State University microbiologist Dr. Joan Rose. "These pathogens can cause swimmers to experience diarrhea, respiratory illness, ear or nose and skin infections."

Swimmers and parents should be aware of signals that a pool may not be properly maintained.

The partnership Web site offers "Sense"-able swimming tips to help you recognize the difference between a healthy pool and a risky one: