Each summer, many of us take refuge from the heat at local public schools. And why shouldn’t we? The kids are out of school. Swimming is a great form of exercise. The beach is too far away. And, hey, it beats work!
But not everything about a trip to the pool is so great; in fact, all too often, public pools are unsanitary, and, well, disgusting.. Click through for all of the dirty details, plus tips on making sure your public pool is safe, and precautions you and your family can take. Be warned, though, that this stuff is not for people with weak stomachs!
Why is pool water so gross? There are all sorts of parasites and bacteria found in pool water — and chlorine can’t kill them that fast, if at all. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, in 2008, nearly 1 in 8 pool inspections resulted in the immediate closure of the pool due to public health and safety reasons.
Ew! What sorts of bacteria? According to the CDC, 58 percent of pools tested positive for E. coli and 60 percent for pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that can cause ear infections and skin rashes. Less than 2 percent of the pools contained traces of the germs Cryptosporidium, or Crypto, and Giardia, which can cause diarrhea, respiratory, eye, and neurologic infections, among other symptoms. Crypto is notoriously difficult to treat with chlorine, and is the cause of the majority of recreational water illnesses (RWIs) in the United States.
See Also: 8 Common Cooking Myths (Slideshow)