How clean are community and hotel swimming pools?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) inspected public swimming pools, and found that one in eight pools had serious violations that threatened public health.
According to the CDC, the average swimmer contributes .14 grams of fecal matter to the pool water.
The study found that many pools contained E.coli bacteria, which is present in fecal matter, as well as Cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes diarrhea. Cryptosporidium can live up to 10 days even in chlorine-treated water! The CDC also found Giardia, another parasite that can cause diarrhea. Giardia has a tough outer shell that makes it resistant to chlorine.
Another study found that one in five Americans admit to peeing in the pool. Interestingly, among elite competitive swimmers, almost 100% admitted to peeing in the pool regularly!
And what about chlorine? While chlorine can kill many bacteria in the pool, if the chlorine level is too high, it can cause lung and skin irritation, allergies, asthma, and has been associated with bladder and liver cancer.