Recreational Water Illnesses

We're experiencing a very hot and humid summer this year in Tennessee.  Many of us are frequenting swimming pools more often to cool off, and enjoy time with family and friends. Before you head out to the pool or water park, consider the information and precautions below provided by Langley & Taylor Pool Company.

Swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers, or oceans are all potential sources of water recreation illness. Recreational water illnesses typically affect a person's stomach and intestines, skin, or respiratory system.

Every year, we hear about stories in regards to Recreational Water Illness (RWI’s). Certified Pool Operator/National Swimming Pool Foundation and The Center for Disease Control recognize RWIs as the following:
  •    Cryptosporidium
  •    E-ColiLan
  •   Giardia
  •    Hepatitis
  •    Shigella
  •    Norovirus

Just to name a few..

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Certified Pool Operator Handbook/National Swimming Pool Foundation; it can take up to several minutes or hours to de-activate or “kill” these bacteria and viruses that cause fecal borne illness.  For example, the deactivation time for Cryptosporidium is 12 hours when the Free Chlorine level is 20 (twenty) PPM.  Increased problem awareness, prompt response to fecal accidents, and proper water quality maintenance are vital to the prevention of RWIs and related adverse health effects.

This is why the health department states: “Take a shower before entering a pool” AND “persons with communicable diseases, do not enter the pool”

Furthermore, a pool does not need to be considered a cleansing bath that “heals” people of virus and bacteria. People CAN pass virus and bacteria to others in a swimming pool even though it is properly sanitized.

Parents, please make sure that if your child is sick, or just over coming an illness to not let them swim in the pool until they are completely healthy.

Handrails, ladders and pool furniture can also be an area that sick people touch and come in contact with bacteria or virus. 

A properly sanitized pool is pro-active care, BUT it does not negate the fact someone can become ill as others can introduce bacteria and virus and the chlorine takes time to kill them. In fact, without your help, even the best-maintained pools can spread illness.  

Think Healthy,

Be Healthy,

Swim Healthy!