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4 common misconceptions about swimming and pools

Swimming pools have been around for ages, which is why there are so many myths circulating about them. It's important to know the difference between fact and fiction so your backyard fixture remains in optimal condition, and so you and your guests are safe going for a dip. Here are four common misconceptions about swimming and pools. 

1. You can tell if the water is dirty
Don't rely strictly on visibility to determine if your water is clean or dirty. In addition to all of the debris that gets washed around, there's an abundance of microscopic germs that you can't even see. They get in the water through other people or when foreign objects fall into the pool during storms or windy nights.

Your swimming pool might be contaminated and you don't even know it because the water doesn't always change colors, and when it does, it's typically too late – the chlorine is lower than it should be. What's more, several germs are chlorine-resistant, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can survive in the water even if you've just had your chemicals balanced.

2. Showers are only required for public pools
People often think that they only have to rinse off before going for a swim in a public facility because so many patrons use them. However, this isn't the case. The rationale behind showering entails much more than that. It's not just a suggestion, affirmed the Huffington Post. The news source quoted a CDC professional to explain the importance of washing off before entering a pool.

"If we don't shower before we get in the water, we're going to carry in whatever's sitting on our skin," says Michele Hlavsa, M.P.H., an epidemiologist and the chief of Healthy Swimming and Waterborne Disease Prevention at the CDC.

She went on to explain that materials, like lotions, have nitrogen in them, which interferes with chlorine's ability to protect you from germs. If you happen to notice a strong chemical odor coming from the pool, it could be an indicator that people haven't been regularly showering before swims. 

3. Sunblock protects you entirely
Meteorologist Jeff Haby wrote on The Weather Prediction that people commonly have the misconception that sunscreen offers perfect protection from the sun. He explained that this isn't true because it's easy to apply lotions unevenly or even miss spots entirely. What's more, people might think that they don't have to lather up parts of the body that will be underwater, like legs or feet. However, it's important to note that the water doesn't block the sun, explained Haby. 

4. Maintenance is solely on the owner
If you own a pool, you understand the responsibilities that go along with it, but what you might not know is that you don't have to handle it on your own. Enlist the help of your kids and spouse when it comes to clean up and certain maintenance requirements. It's not difficult to teach someone how to skim leaves and trash out of the pool. Incorporate it into your family's chore list, just be sure to keep the more challenging work for mom and dad. You don't want anyone to get hurt.

What's more, you can get regular help from Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals. Some people might think that these particular companies only handle repairs and maintenance, but this isn't the case. They can balance your chemicals and handle other minor details as well so you can focus on other aspects of your life.