Floridians, for the most part, love to go swimming. With warm weather lasting for most of the year, people of all ages find plenty of opportunities to dive into the pool. If you own your own swimming pool, you have a pretty solid understanding of what maintenance goes into it. This gives you and your family peace of mind when swimming away those long summer days.
But what about a public swimming pool?
When it comes to public pools, you might want to take precaution, as there is not a one-size-fits-all standard for pool upkeep. It is often hard to tell if the pool you are about to dive into is up to date on pool maintenance, or a cesspool for illness and injury.
The State of Public Swimming Pools
According to a May report from the CDC – crypto, also known as cryptosporidium, outbreaks connected to swimming pools and water parks have doubled since 2014. Crypto is a parasite that causes stomach cramps, dehydration, diarrhea, fever and other less-than-ideal side effects.
After analyzing 84,000 pools or public water facilities in 5 states, they found that almost 80% of public water bodies were violating health code. What’s more, 1 in 8 water bodies needed immediate closure, due to multiple violations. Also, 1 in 5 kids’ pools faced indefinite closure.
Why Swimming Pool Safety Is Important
Safety should always be of prime concern when visiting a community swimming pool. There is more to it than remembering not to run near the wet areas. From eye irritation, rashes to other waterborne diseases, like crypto, public swimming pools can be home to many ailments. It is imperative that you take the necessary safety precautions so you and your family remain safe and healthy.
Here are some ways to avoid injury and illness when visiting a public swimming facility:
How to Keep You and Your Family Safe
Given the CDC’s report and findings, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry. Here are some useful tips to follow when you plan to beat the heat in a public pool.
1. Always check the pool water first
Always test the pool water before entering it. The pool you plan to have fun in should have appropriate levels of chlorine and an appropriate pH level. Maintaining proper water chemistry is very important for your safety. There are many factors that can cause poor (low or high) chlorine levels. From faulty pool equipment to poor training of pool employees, the water may not be safe and balanced. Whatever might be the cause, insufficient levels of chlorine and pH can lead to a lot of health issues.
Hence, the best solution is to carry some test strips to check yourself the levels of pH and chlorine. You can get these strips in any of the home improvement stores near you.
Alternatively, you can also get in touch with the pool manager and ask about the maintenance routine and standard of the pool. You can ask some simple questions like the level of pH and chlorine in the pool water, or the results of their last inspection. These questions, though simple, would bring in clarity on how they maintain the pool.
2. Don’t drink the pool water
You should never drink any pool water, especially not public pool water. Not only are the chemicals not-all-that safe to ingest, you could put yourself at risk of catching an infection.
Always be careful if you find loose, broken or uncovered drains. If you find a damaged drain, immediately report it to pool management. Make sure they address it immediately. Don’t swim until they do so, as broken, loose or uncovered drains can trap swimmers, creating a risk of drowning.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s data, nine people lost their lives and 63 were injured due to pool drain accidents from 1999-2007. Public pools with a single main drain are required to have anti-entrapment covers, but these can become defective over time. If the depth of the water appears unusual, ask management to check for swimming pool leaks.
4. Make Sure Your Kids Take Breaks
Do not let your kids swim for more than one hour at a time. It is biologically and physiologically normal to pee after 45 minutes of being in the water, as your body gets compressed due to the pressure exerted by water. After an hour of swimming, your kids would need water to drink and may be ready to eat.
Accidents rarely come with forewarning. A lifeguard receives training designed to save you from drowning and other problems that can arise while swimming. A lifeguard is a trained and certified rescuer, first aid and/ or CPR provider, who needs to be around the pool at all times. But when pool managers give these lifeguards extra responsibilities, such as maintaining the pool or keeping tabs on guests, it creates a problem. Avoid pools where lifeguards are unable to do their job. Also, if you notice that your lifeguard is lax in his or her duties, you should immediately speak to their seniors for appropriate action.
6. Protect your eyes, ears, and feet while in and around a public pool
Protecting your eyes, ears and the feet are your responsibility. Have fun, but consider protecting yourself using gear recommended by professionals. You should have goggles to protect your eyes, ear drops for safeguarding your ears and a pair of pool shoes to avoid athlete’s foot. There are a lot of products on the market designed for the pool. But not all are created equal. In ear drops, check for something that has a large percentage of isopropyl alcohol, supplemented by anhydrous glycerin. For the best goggles, check out the latest reviews from experts to find one that best suits your needs.
Consideration goes a long way in keeping public pools safe for you and others. Here are some general rules to follow to do your part in keeping pools clean and secure:
- Never pee in the pool – After all, it has to start somewhere and with someone. 55% of people surveyed confessed to peeing in the pool, at least once in their life! That’s just the people willing to admit it.
- Never go swimming if you have diarrhea – An upset stomach can ruin your day. But, swimming when unwell can ruin the days of a lot more people, particularly everyone else in the pool. Swimming while suffering from diarrhea is where crypto comes from – a parasite that causes diarrhea and is present in the feces of the infected. Skip on the pool until you are back to perfect health.
- Never enter a pool without taking a shower – Dirt, oil, makeup, sweat or sunscreen on your skin will end up in the pool water if you don’t take a shower before entering. Give yourself a quick rinse before cannon-balling into the deep end.
- Never enter the pool with an open wound- Like the other bodily fluids mentioned above, by entering a pool with an open wound, you risk exposing others to disease and illness. Not to mention, other infectious microorganisms in the pool can cause your wound to get infected. Keep fresh injuries out of the pool.
If you live in and around Orlando and are planning to visit a public swimming pool, the only thing you need to find out if Certified Leak Detection maintains it. If experts are taking care of the pool, you know you can swim in peace.
If you own a public pool and are in and around Orlando, you can get in touch with Certified Leak detection for swimming pool leak detection, Sanford leak detection, Orlando leak detection and year-long maintenance of your pool.