It’s a nice summer day, the sun is out, and people are having fun in the pool, so what could go wrong? The picture-perfect scene of people chilling in the cool water could also be a scenario for a disease outbreak.
More and more hotel-resorts, public swimming pool operators, and users of backyard pools are investing in cutting-edge science to keep swimming pools safer. Stepping out of the supposed-to-be traditional methods of pool maintenance, these pool owners have already transitioned to safer pool alkalinity-basicity control systems, especially those that make use of natural, safe methods.
Looking for safer means to keep the water safe for use was triggered by a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on the safety of water-related facilities like spas, aqua-playgrounds, and public swimming pools. In the conduct of CDC inspections, at least 10 percent of these facilities had to be issued closure orders due to ‘serious safety violations.’ These violations left people vulnerable to various types of infections and even life-threatening diseases.
While it is well-known that pools are treated with either bromine and chlorine to get rid of germs, there is no way to ensure that the facility will be 100 percent disease-free. A germ called Cryptosporidium or ‘Crypto’ for short can remain active for several days, even in treated pool water. Other swimmers can quickly become infected as well if they accidentally swallow even just a small amount of contaminated water.
This is not the end of the story. There are other recreational water illnesses that the public needs to be aware of. More importantly, they should know effective ways to prevent these illnesses in the first place.
Recreational Water Illness
Recreational water illness is a disease that usually affects a person’s skin, eyes, ears, including the digestive and respiratory systems. Germs that typically abound in soil and water environments could come into contact with people and even pets. When a person or animal that came into contact with the germs enter a swimming pool, they transfer those germs and pose risks to other people. This happens when the chemical treatments used in water facilities are insufficient or not properly done.
The usual first sign of a germ infection is the Skin Rash. The rash is usually very itchy and might present tiny bumps or unusual appearance on the surface of the skin. Some rashes can even be painful and lead to the formation of blisters. The rash itself is the body’s reaction to an infection or contaminant. It is an inflammatory response and defense mechanism to unwanted external stimuli that the body’s immune system detects as an invader or foreign body.
Acute gastrointestinal Illness can also be another water-borne disease that could be contracted in a contaminated pool. The typical effect of this illness is diarrhea or loose bowel movement. Aside from having uncontrolled passing of watery stool, the sick person could also suffer from vomiting, headaches, and fatigue.
Acute respiratory illness, especially if caused by the germ Legionella, is another disease that people should know about. Most swimmers do not associate an illness that affects their breathing and lung capacity to the use of pools that, without their knowledge, are already contaminated with this germ.
Aside from the risk of water-borne diseases, the chemicals used to sanitize swimming pools are themselves a potential source of health risks. If bromine and chlorine levels used in water facilities are not properly calibrated, these harsh ingredients could also irritate a person’s skin, eyes, and other body parts.
To prevent such chemical-related allergies and ill-effects, natural alternatives that are safe and effective are best to be considered in doing pool treatments. Now, treatment systems even use recycled CO2 or carbon dioxide, which leads to the production of acid not harmful to humans or pets but lethal to germs and other contaminants in pool water.
These types of organic treatment alternatives enable swimmers to enjoy what can be called a “green” swimming pool free from harsh chemicals and microbes. As a result, they can enjoy the swim without any worry or hesitation. This organic way of making pools cleaner is especially suitable for facilities that cater to children and the elderly since these age groups are often the most vulnerable to various kinds of diseases.
With adequate knowledge of potential hazards, plus the availability of alternative pool treatments, swimming can be thoroughly enjoyed not just in summer but the whole year.