These are all the germs lurking in your public pool, waterpark

These are all the germs lurking in your public pool, waterpark
From Global News - July 16, 2017

If youre splashing around at a water park or public pool, whatever you do, dont take a gulp of the water.

Youre basically wading in a public bath filled with strangers germs and dirt, experts say.

Every time you move, youre releasing a million microbes and thats all going into the water, Jason Tetro, a Canadian microbiologist and bestselling author, told Global News.

Little viruses could end up in your swimming pool giving you ear aches, gastrointestinal problems, pink eye. Usually, theres a high enough chlorine concentration to kill them, Tetro said.

The American Chemical Society warns that public pools are not always as clean as you might think, even when disinfected.

Heres a look at what may be wading in at a water park or public pool.


In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that feces are frequently introduced into the pool water by swimmers.

Fifty-eight per cent of pool filter samples tested positive for E. coli, bacteria that are normally found in the human gut and feces.

One in four adults say they would swim within an hour of having diarrhea and 52 per cent admit they rarely or never shower before jumping into a pool. This does not bode well for clean pool water.


Yup, you know youve relieved yourself in a pool before. Theres a reason why pools are often nicknamed public bathrooms.

Urine is, for the most part, sterile anyway. But components of urine can react with chlorine to create potentially carcinogenic chemicals. But its so low in concentration, Tetro said.

READ MORE: How much pee is in the pool? New Alberta research measures water sweetness

Nineteen per cent of adults have peed in a pool, according to a 2012 survey. In a 2017 University of Alberta study, scientists found that a 110,000-gallon pool contains about seven gallons of urineabout enough to fill a medium-sized trash bin.


Recreational water illnessesor RWIsare caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or having contact with contaminated water in pools, hot tubs and water park areas, according to the CDC.

RWIs cause a wide variety of infections, from gastrointestinal issues, skin, ear and respiratory problems, andthe most commondiarrhea.


Harmful compounds

Open waters come with issues, too

How to protect yourself


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