Public swimming pools not as clean as you think, study finds

Posted at 11:52 AM, May 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-20 14:02:20-04

(WDAF-TV) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have come out with a new study about what might be lurking in the water of your local public swimming pool.

According to the CDC report, water sampled from 161 pools around the Atlanta area found 58 percent showed signs of E. Coli, which is the bacteria most commonly associated with fecal matter.

Diapered babies and children who are not properly toilet trained can easily introduce poop into the water, the report found.

But, children are not alone as culprits.

Adults are also at fault, mainly for those who do not shower with soap before entering the pool, who bring traces of fecal matter with them.

Number two isn’t the only problem. Chlorine still isn’t strong enough to break down people who decide to “number one” in the pool, along with sweat.

It’s especially important to not take a dip if you have intestinal troubles, like diarrhea, the CDC said.

“Results alone cannot be used to determine whether the detected pathogens were viable or infectious or determine the level of swimmer risk.” Translation: public pools are not necessarily hazardous to your health because there’s never been any illness related to pool water.

Another important thing to remember: this is only a sample of pools in the Atlanta area and isn’t necessarily representative of the entire country.