New study sheds light on water quality in pools


Chlorine is a crucial part of maintaining water quality in a pool; however, a new study shows they may not be as clean as you think.

The Water Quality and Health Council found 51 percent of Americans reported using a swimming pool as a communal bathtub.

Ultimately, they are swimming as a substitute for showering.

Another 40 percent admitted to using the bathroom in the pool.

9OYS reached out to the Pitt County Environmental Health Department to learn how this might impact the pool’s water quality.

Members of the department say when people swim without taking a prior shower, the strength of the chlorine decreases. In turn, this degrades the pool’s pH balance and it begins to have a lesser chance of fighting off things like sickness and in some cases, fecal matter bacteria. 

“There is a sign on every public swimming pool that says ‘Shower Before Entering’ and the purpose of that sign — even though obviously people don’t do it based on that study — is to wash the biological debris off of your body before you enter the swimming pool,” said Kent Keeter, Environmental Health Supervisor, Onsite Division.  

Members of the department suggest rinsing off in the outdoor stand up shower before getting in. Also, if the water looks cloudy or discolored do not get in.

It is also important to make sure the cover on the drain is intact and not cracked. If missing, this could become a suction hazard.

For additional concerns, you can also ask the pool operator when was the last time they checked the pool’s pH. They should be checking it daily.

If you believe your community pool is not being treated properly contact your county’s environmental health department.

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