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Recreational waterborne illnesses and prevention tips

Recreational waterborne illnesses are common issues to be taken seriously by all pool owners, not only those around Phoenix. Chlorine kills a majority of germs that come into contact with your pool. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlorine can kill some germs in minutes, while it may take a few hours to kill others. Here are the most common recreational water illnesses and how you can prevent them.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that can harm humans and animals if swallowed. It causes a diarrheal disease known as cryptosporidiosis, according to the CDC, and it’s one of the most common waterborne diseases. The parasite has a hard outer shell that protects it from chlorine.

E. Coli
Escherichia coli are bacteria that live inside every human and animal intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic. These bacteria only cause harm when they’re outside of the body. There are six different types according to the CDC and like crypto, they’re known to cause diarrhea.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
According to a CDC study, pseudomonas aeruginosa was found in 59 percent of public pool water samples. While the CDC stated that this doesn’t account for private residential pools, it’s important to know about the pathogen, as infections can be dangerous. The most common symptoms are skin rashes and ear infections.

Prevention tips

  • Always clean children before swimming, especially young children, and adults should shower before swimming.
  • If you have a baby, don’t change their diaper anywhere near your pool.
  • Don’t swim or allow anyone to swim if they have diarrhea.
  • The best preventative measure is cleaning, so if anything always wash your hands after gardening, touching pets and coming in contact with children.
  • Check chlorine and PH levels before you or your family swims every time.
  • Avoid swallowing water.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a health care professional and call your local Phoenix pool service to ask them to come test your water.