Your priority as a commercial pool owner should be your swimmers’ safety. This means taking steps to prevent accidents on your property, especially slips and falls, which are likely to happen around swimming pools.
Aside from avoiding accidents, you also need to pay special attention to your pool water sanitation. Different people swim in your pool, which increases the chances of the water becoming contaminated with germs and viruses. These pathogens can infect swimmers with recreational water illnesses or RWI.
Weber Pools, a trusted provider of weekly pool services in Dallas, lists some common RWIs people can get from swimming in public pools.
Diarrhea is the most common RWI because of the number of different viruses that thrive in dirty pools. Swimmers often contract a diarrheal disease by swallowing contaminated water.
Swimmers infected with diarrhea may also suffer from fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and other symptoms, depending on the virus that caused it. The typical culprit behind diarrheal RWIs is cryptosporidium, which caused 76 outbreaks from 2015 to 2019, according to the CDC.
To prevent similar outbreaks in your pool, remind swimmers to not go in the water if they had diarrhea within the past two weeks.
2. Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is an infection in the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the ear. It occurs when excessive moisture accumulates in the ear canal, creating a damp environment that encourages the growth of bacteria.
This condition is common among children who spend a lot of time in the water, although adults can contract it, too. The symptoms are mild, such as itchiness or slight redness inside your ear, but they can worsen if the infection is left to spread.
Swimmer’s ear is more likely to happen if the water is contaminated, so be sure to sanitize your pool weekly to protect your guests from it.
3. Hot Tub Rash
Hot tub rash or hot tub folliculitis is a result of soaking too long in contaminated water. It causes red, itchy, bumpy rash that can grow into pus-filled blisters around the hair follicles if left untreated. Parts of the skin that aren’t covered by a bathing suit often develop worse rashes than the areas protected by clothing.
To prevent a hot tub rash outbreak in your commercial pool, check the water chemistry at least twice a day. The CDC recommends a pH level between 7.2 to 7.8 to prevent pathogens from breeding in the water. If your pool is in heavy use, test your pH level hourly.
4. Upper Respiratory Complications
People often get respiratory illnesses like cough, cold, sinus congestion, and other flu-like symptoms from chlorinated pools. These are usually a result of urine in pools. The nitrogen in urine can react with the chemical disinfectants in the water, such as chlorine, and form by-products that cause respiratory issues.
Remind your guests to not pee in the pool for their own safety by posting guidelines in and around your property.
Upholding Swimmer Safety in Public Pools
Preventing RWIs is both the responsibility of the pool owner and the guests. As the owner, it’s your job to keep your pool sanitized and safe for everyone and to remind the swimmers of the dos and don’ts of using public pools.
If you need assistance in regularly maintaining your commercial pool, Weber Pools is here to help. We provide weekly pool maintenance services for commercial clients, helping owners fulfill their responsibility of upholding swimmer safety.
Get a quote on our weekly pool services by filling out our online form.