There are some facts you might not be aware of when it comes to your pool. Some of these apply to both private and public pools, but they show the advantages of swimming in your own pool versus a public pool.
Chlorine won’t kill all bacteria or parasites. The parasitic Cryptosporidium (also known as Crypto), as well as Giardia, can survive in the presence of chlorine. Cryptosporidium can survive for nearly 10 days in a perfectly chlorine-treated pool. Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia are found in water that has been contaminated with feces, and both can cause diarrhea and other symptoms.
Then there are other less common types of bacteria that can still be found in chlorine-treated water. One specific species of amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can eat away at the brain.
These parasites and amoebae are more likely to be found in public pools because of how many people frequent them, and because public pools are rarely emptied until the very end of the pool season. However, these microscopic troublemakers can be found in private pools as well. For this reason, it’s important to have your pool water treated properly, and, when feasible, empty your pool and refill it with new water.
A bleach-smelling pool doesn’t mean a properly treated pool. In fact, if you can smell bleach, then the opposite is true. It means that the pool has many unclean substances that are reacting with the chlorine. When chlorine and ammonia (found in bodily fluids such as urine, feces, sweat, etc.) mix, that chlorine smell occurs. When a pool is properly treated with chlorine and other chemicals, there won’t be any chlorine smell. Be sure that you treat your pool properly to eliminate that chlorine smell.
Contaminants cause red eyes, not the water or the chlorine. Dead skin and bacteria, in addition to the previously mentioned bodily substances, will cause irritated, red eyes. This is less of an issue when people shower before using the pool.
Bacteria in a pool causes swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear is typically a bacterial or fungal ear infection in your ear canal. Symptoms include inner ear itching, difficulty hearing, pus or fluid draining from the ear, and significant pain. Water earplugs are available and might help prevent initial infection, but it’s not a certainty.
Sunscreen and hair products decrease the effectiveness of chlorine. As mentioned before, chlorine can’t completely remove dirty bacteria in the water from our bodies or other animals, but it’s the lotions and hair products people wear in the pool that lessen the effectiveness of chlorine. Again, this is unavoidable in public pools. If you own your own pool though, you can set ground rules and ask others to shower before they enter your pool. If feasible, you can install an outdoor shower near your pool for people to do this more easily before they go for a swim.
Pool water can damage teeth when the water isn’t properly balanced. Long-term exposure to chlorine can damage teeth enamel and cause discoloration, while pools with high pH levels can make teeth brown.
Avoidance of most of these issues really boils down to one thing: keeping parasites, bacteria and other nasty things out of your pool. It is the cause of most of these problems but is practically unavoidable in public pools. However, if you own a private pool, you can lessen the likelihood of these issues by properly treating your pool with the right balance of chemicals and giving it daily chlorine shocks. In some cases though, these contaminants might be surviving in a perfectly treated pool. That is when it might be necessary to completely empty the pool and refill it to be completely rid of the bacteria. In addition, of course, always clean the pool out with the skimmer to remove debris that could also be contaminating the pool with bacteria.
If you can’t provide proper cleaning for your pool and need a pool cleaning service that will provide it for you, please visit the Arrow Pool contact page to submit a form, or call us at (610) 731-7665.