Can You Get Sick From A Dirty Swimming Pool? Yes!

Can You Get Sick From A Dirty Swimming Pool?

Ask your professional pool cleaner in your neighborhood, and they’ll tell you the many ways you can get sick from swimming in a dirty pool. Although taking a dip in a pool offers respite from the summer heat, you need to consider how safe it is before taking the plunge.

Your swimming pool has a large number of germs and bacteria that may cause recreational water illnesses (RWIs). These illnesses spread by swallowing, inhaling, or having contact with contaminated water from pools, spas, lakes or other water bodies. Some common symptoms may include swimmer’s ear, skin rashes, and even diarrhea.

The data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) shows that your neighborhood swimming pool may not be as clean as you think.  According to a study, approximately 30,000 recreational water illnesses documented in the U.S. from 1978–2004, showed a steady increase in reported outbreaks.

Let’s learn how to remain healthy this summer.

Health Hazards of Swimming in a Dirty Pool

If you use a community swimming pool, you often have to share it with other children and adults. Public pools make it more challenging to ensure your pool is clean and safe for swimming.

As in your pool,  chlorine may be on the top of your list of pool supplies, but may not be enough to kill the various germs and bacteria in your pool. Several water-borne diseases may spread such as:

  • Cryptosporidium

Crypto is highly resistant to chlorine. And, even if you have a well-maintained pool, it can comfortably live for days. Only a specialist pool cleaner with the right knowledge of super chlorination can help you get rid of it and make your pool safe for swimming.

Prolonged exposure to contaminated water can cause lousy diarrhea that may take weeks to cure. And if you swallow even a small amount of this pool water, you may have to deal with infections that cause vomiting, stomach pain, and fever. You can kill most waterborne germs and parasites within 1 minute of adding a milligram of chlorine per liter of water. But to eliminate crypto, you’ll need to maintain ten times this concentration for at least 12 hours. For this reason, it is best to hire a professional pool cleaner for the job.

  • Giardia

Like crypto, this parasite can cause gastrointestinal distress including vomiting, bloating, constant diarrhea that may last up to 3 weeks, and weight loss. Symptoms of giardiasis usually take show up after a couple of weeks.

  • E.Coli

  1. Coli is perhaps the most common cause of illnesses associated with dirty water. Fecal matter of both animals and humans contains Escherichia Coli. So when someone suffering from diarrhea or diaper-wearing child uses the swimming pool, the bacteria will find its way into your water. And if anyone swallows this water while swimming, they are prone to gastric discomfort with bloody diarrhea and even kidney failure in extreme cases.
  • Salmonella

Salmonella is another bacteria transmitted via dirty pool water contaminated by human and animal feces. It has similar symptoms. You should use a pool vacuum to keep your swimming pool clean and free from any feces for clean swimming.

  • Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a significant concern if you swim in a poorly maintained pool. Swallowing such contaminated water can lead to jaundiced skin, dark urine, an upset stomach, vomiting, and even fevers.

Apart from this, your swimming pool has many germs that carry infections like cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis E, and more. Swimming in a dirty pool can also lead to severe ear, nose, and throat (ENT) infections.

Further, contaminated water can cause red eyes and itchy skin. It could range from a mild infection to severe health conditions on prolonged exposure. Thus, it is vital to have regular pool maintenance. Don’t gamble with your health. Consult a specialized pool cleaner near you.

Importance of Pool Maintenance

While it is fun to own a swimming pool, it requires a lot of hard work to maintain one. You don’t have to spend a large part of your day cleaning the pool. However, if you neglect your pool over a long period, you are likely to run into trouble.

Poor maintenance makes your swimming pool a breeding ground for all sorts of algae, microorganisms, bacteria, and germs. On the other hand, regular pool maintenance has many advantages, like;

  1. Increases the life of your pool

A swimming pool is an investment. And the best way to get the most out of your pool is to hire a reliable, professional pool cleaner to maintain the pool. With experienced pool maintenance professional by your side, you will not have to worry about pool upkeep for years to come.

2. Healthy swimming experience

In fact, by maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your pool, you can reduce the chances of getting sick from swimming in dirty pool water. So clean your pool and enjoy your swimming experience without risking your health.

3. Saves you money spent on medical expenses

With regular and systematic upkeep, you can reduce the money spent on medical treatment of these illnesses. It is wiser to spend your money on pool maintenance and save yourself the cost and suffering from infections caused by a dirty pool.

4. Prevents costly damage to the pool structure

Poor pool maintenance can result in out of pocket expenses down the line. A professional pool cleaner helps you avoid any serious damage to your pool over time. Preventive maintenance is an excellent investment in your asset and swimming experience.

Is Your Pool Water Safe To Swim?

If your pool has murky, hazy, or turbid water, then it is reasonable to say the pool is not safe to swim in. But what about if your pool appears clean?

Well, don’t be fooled!

Just because your pool water looks clean does not mean it is safe to swim in. There are many little details you need to check to ensure the water is fit for swimming. Check the water balance, pH, and chlorine levels to reach a more specific decision. So, the next time you’re out buying pool supplies, stock up on pH test strips and chlorine test strips for a handy pool test kit!

How to Keep Your Pool Clean

While cleaning the pool may appear a daunting task, you can always use chlorine as a way to kill most germs. Keep filters clean. You can also use a pool vacuum regularly to clean the floor of the swimming pool.

As pool specialists, we can’t ignore the need for proper pool maintenance. If you don’t have the time for the pool maintenance, hire a reliable and experienced pool maintenance company near you. Don’t neglect your swimming pool until it turns green and becomes a liability. Invest in your pool and increase the life of your asset with regular upkeep and maintenance plans.

Don’t Have Time For Pool Maintenance? Hire a Professional Pool Cleaner Near You

If you have any questions on swimming pools, or need cleaning tips, call us to speak to our pool specialists today!

How to Beat Pool Algae During August

How to Beat Pool Algae During August Heat

Many pool owners find themselves asking, “how do I get rid of algae in my pool?” We understand your frustrations. But you have to understand that algae spores constantly enter the pool, because of weather factors such as rain, wind, and sometimes items like contaminated pool cleaning products. It’s important to maintain good circulation, filtration, and sanitation or else pool algae may form.

You can’t fully get rid of algae in your pool. Even the cleanest pools have microscopic algae but it waits for an opportunity to grow exponentially. When conditions such as out of balance water, warming temperatures, sunlight, and nitrates occur at once, an algae bloom can spread in just hours time.

What do algae create in your pool?

Algae spread all over your pool requires a lot of money and time to rid the water completely of it. Once algae bloom in the area, it is easier for it to return a second and third time. Also, algae can cloud your pool water, making reducing depth perception for divers and swimmers. By clogging up pathways, algae can also clog your pool filter, which decreases its effectiveness and may require extended care or even replacement.

How many types of algae exist?

Did you know that there are over 21,000 known varieties of existing algae? But it’s easy to classify each by the color they produce. Here are the different algae types:

  • Green Algae
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Pink

How is Algae stopped?

Maintaining the correct chemical balance and sanitizer levels help prevent algae growth. High pH and low chlorine, for example, can provide algae with an incentive to bloom. Try using cyanuric acid to protect your chlorine from sun heat. Upkeeping cleanliness is also important because organic materials and harmful bacteria can also add to growth. Consistent brushing is not only good exercise, it helps prevent debris from accumulating in the plaster, which helps algae grow too. In order to filtrate your pool best, use chemicals or algaecides to provide sanitation and filtration. The chemicals we recommend are below:

  • Potassium Tetraborate
  • Phosphate Remover
  • Filter Cleaners

There’s already algae in my pool. How do I remove it completely?

Balance your pool water and stay mindful of your pH levels. Always check that your filter and pump are working well. Furthermore, shut off your pool heater to lower the water temperature. Adjust your pool valves too to instill great circulation so that your pump can run all day until the pool clears itself. Brush the walls and floors of your pool near main drains and vacuum as often as you can.

Furthermore, using a flocculent may be ideal after swimming pool shocking if your pool is exceedingly discolored. How do I know if its discolored? If you cannot see the bottom of your pool, and it’s filled with debris, it may be beneficial to drain your pool, acid wash it, and refill it only if it’s a plaster swimming pool. It is nearly impossible to restore clear water to a pool that is very dirty with debris.

If contaminants have been an ongoing problem for some time, it might be best to drain your pool completely. Years of algae build up can result in dead algae cells along the walls that may spur a regeneration of the same problem. Acid washes and chlorine washes can kill the root of the issue.

5 Indoor Pool Problems & How to Avoid Them

5 Common Indoor Pool Problems & How to Handle Them

From condominiums, luxury homes, and apartments, indoor pools are quite attractive design features. One of the key benefits indoor pools have is how users can enjoy them year-round, whether it be for pleasure, exercise, or even physical therapy. However, there are a few indoor pool problems that pool owners and soon-to-be pool owners have.

Here are 5 indoor pool problems and how to avoid them going forward.

1) Indoor Pools Odor

The worst thing is to walk into a hotel or a vacation home and smell an extra pungent chlorine smell or other unexpected smell. Noticing such a smell can give you an indication of how well the facility is taking care of their pool. Do all pool have odors? Of course. But should people be able to smell them immediately? Not really. If the pool smells, and that smell is disagreeable, there is something wrong. Many times, pool users can observe a rancid pool smell and if their eyes become irritated once they make contact, the issue can increasingly become worse.

So, what’s the problem boil down to? Many times, not all, bad pools smell and irritated eyes are the result of improper water balance. Also, when there are chloramines, or chlorine and bromine combined, these form additional nitrogen waste at times. Furthermore, extra waste reduces sanitation and all one can smell is chlorine. Although a chlorine smell is fine, it is not entirely pleasant for people visiting to smell rapidly and continually.

2) Indoor Pools Need Oxidation Too

Did you know that indoor pools need to be shocked more often than outdoor pools? Yes! That’s where oxidation comes in. Oxidation, or shocking a pool, tackles waste like body oils, perfumes, etc., and oxidizes it back into the air safely. But is oxidized waste that’s released back into the air inside an indoor pool safe? What happens as this waste hits your home’s fan, windows, doors, etc.?

With an extended time of excess heat and waste being emitted into a room that isn’t properly ventilated, foul smells and other issues take over. Therefore, always conduct a monthly shock for your indoor pool to remove all the gunk that infiltrates your indoor pool area, and by extension, your home or business.

3) User Filth

indoor pools

User filth is how many pool users utilize the indoor pool at the same time. Pools for commercial use gain greater traffic. Therefore, the more people enjoy a pool, the more filth gets left behind. Shocking is usually done two to three times a week in commercial pools, depending on use.

Furthermore, shocking is essential for large parties or events take place where many people used a pool. And even though pools for home use get used less than commercial pools, they still must be shocked consistently.

Free Tip: DO NOT place your pool cover back over your pool for at least 5 hours after oxidation. 

4) Indoor Pools Maintenance

Indoor pools have a luxurious feel to them, and when it comes to maintenance, they require a little extra too. Why do indoor pools need more maintenance? Depleted sun exposure, extended traffic, and the belief that “indoor” means “impenetrable.”

  • Regular oxidation combats the lack of sun exposure
  • Clean your indoor pool regularly (vacuum your pool interior each week).
  • If vacuuming won’t work, brush your pool walls to break apart algae or other buildups.
  • Chemically clean your filter every four months with a good quality filter cleaner.
  • Pool covers and solar blankets need maintenance too. Solar blankets need chemical cleaning too at least twice annually.

5) Indoor Pools Humidity

Dehumidification

As with maintenance and design, indoor pools require more humidity control monitoring. Did you know that many indoor pools have dehumidifiers? Dehumidifiers help swimming pools maintain about 50% relative humidity or RH. Furthermore, dehumidifiers heat or cool the surrounding air to a designated point temperature. It’s important to maintain your dehumidifier and prevent further damage in the future.

Free Tip: Try to have an annual dehumidifier check-up by a certified HVAC/R contractor. 

Is Your Swimming Pool Leaking?

Is Your Swimming Pool Leaking, or Just Evaporating?

Bakersfield summers are so hot that you naturally expect to lose water to evaporation. Unfortunately, it’s also common for pools and spas to develop leaks in the structure or system due to ground shifts. And leaks not only waste precious water, they can create costly damage to the pool.

A leaky pool causes the following:

  • Increases the amount of chemicals you need to maintain water stability, driving up your chemical costs
  • Costs you money for hundreds of gallons of water that leaks into the ground
  • Creates pool structure problems by re-distributing the dirt that supports the pool

So, how do you know the difference between water loss due to evaporation and splashing and water loss from a leak?

Here are 5 ways to detect problems if you notice a sudden drop in the water level:

  1. Perform a bucket test:
    • Begin with pool water at a normal level.
    • Fill a 5-gallon bucket with pool water about 1/3 capacity of the bucket (2/3 down from the top of the bucket).
    • Put the bucket on the first or second step of the pool, or at least 5 inches deep.
    • Mark the water level inside the bucket.
    • Turn off the auto-fil and the pump and mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.
    • Turn on the pool pump.
    • Compare the two water levels after 24 hours. If the levels are the same, then you only have evaporation. If the level on the outside of the bucket is lower, then you may have a leak.
  2. Pay attention to water bills and chemical usage. An increase in either or both may indicate a leak. (You may need more chemicals to achieve proper balance and keep algae from growing.)
  3. Walk on grass to discover soggy patches or extra-green patches of lawn that signal an underground plumbing leak.
  4. Look for obvious cracks in the pool surface or deck.
  5. Check the skimmers, main drains, and suction lines for blockages or air that shows up in the pump or blows back into the pool.

An un-repaired hole the size of a pencil tip may result in a loss of hundreds of gallons of water a day. The cost to repair increases the longer you wait. You may need help from a qualified pool leak detection expert to pinpoint the exact location and extent of a leak. Many pool leak repairs are permanent, so you won’t have a recurring problem from the same source.

Contact Us Today

Don’t delay. Talk with Atlas Pool Care about locating and repairing your pool leak.