The Shocking Truth About What’s Lurking Under the Surface of America’s Pools

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Considering the fact that there are 10.4 million residential over 300,000 public swimming pools across the country, it’s safe to say the taking a dip in the pool is perhaps one of America’s favorite past times second only to baseball. However, after a string of illnesses linked to swimming pool water have broken out across the country, the CDC recently released a report revealing what truly lies beneath the surface of America’s swimming pools and the answer may surprise you.

Many private and public pool goers associate the strong, chlorine-like odor that’s so commonly found at many of the nation’s pools with cleanliness. The stronger the odor, the more chlorine is in the pool, which means the cleaner the water is, right? Actually, this association couldn’t be father from the truth. The strong, chlorine-like odor is actually the result of chlorine coming into contact with human body fluids and waste, including feces, sweat, and urine. This forms an irritant known as chloramine, which causes the burning and itching that many people experience after swimming in a pool.

While there are a wide range of pool sanitization solutions available on the market ranging from the traditional pure chlorine to the latest industry leading salt systems, it can still be difficult to completely eliminate chlorine-resistant microogranisms. It’s these super bugs, particularly a strain of bacteria known as Cryptosporidium, that is causing an outbreak of severe stomach illnesses. While industry leading salt systems are an excellent alternative to traditional chlorine systems and are great for eliminating harsh odors, keeping a pool’s water clean can still be a challenge.

As such, the CDC has offered up some tips to keep pool goers happy, healthy, and safe this summer. Health officials encourage swimmers to shower in cool to cold water — in order to keep pores closed — before and after swimming in a pool. In addition, the CDC recommends getting out of the pool hourly to use the bathroom, drink water, and reapply sunblock.