Why Shower before Swimming in a Pool?

In a nutshell… This article discusses the importance of the pre-swim shower at pools. By choosing to shower before entering the pool, swimmers can help maintain better pool water quality and a healthier experience for themselves, pool staff, and their fellow swimmers.   A 2012 Water Quality & Health Council survey found improvements that could

How Algal Blooms Can Impact Water Quality: What You Should Know

In a nutshell… The summer of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been relatively mild for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms in the Great Lakes. But problem areas can be found in many states. This article provides an overview of the public health importance of harmful algal blooms on recreational waters and sources of treated drinking water.   Photo

Is It Safe to Swim in a Pool during the Summer of Coronavirus?

In a nutshell… This article discusses two important issues of pool safety in the summer of COVID-19, pool water quality and navigating crowds. These factors are examined in the contexts of both public and backyard pool venues.   Are you planning to swim in a backyard or public pool this summer? Many public pools will

How to Shut Down or Reopen a Hot Tub or Spa during the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a nutshell… This article discusses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for shutting down and reopening spas and hot tubs to avoid the growth of bacteria, such as Legionella. Guidelines are different depending on the construction of the spa or hot tub.   As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves, aquatic

For Best Spa and Pool Maintenance: Know Your Source Water

In a nutshell… This article looks “up the pipe” at the water used to fill spas and pools, known as “source water.” Source water may be previously treated municipal water or private well water. Five categories of chemical constituents that may be present in source water are described along with associated issues they may present

Breathing Easier: Improving Air Quality at Indoor Swimming Pools

In a nutshell… Poor air quality in indoor swimming pool facilities can cause breathing problems for swimmers and others. The problem is not due to “too much chlorine” but mainly to chemical reactions between chlorine and substances brought into the water by swimmers. A team of researchers is developing a model of the factors that

How to Disinfect Water Storage Tanks Using Chlorine Bleach

Eight-five percent of Americans get their daily drinking water from a community water system. About 15% rely on a private well for some or all of their household water. But just about everyone has seen and drunk water from a water storage tank or trailer. They come in all shapes and sizes. Many are permanent; others are temporary like those used at large outdoor events and “water buffalos” used by the military.

Keeping Swimming Pools Open with Good Pool Chemistry

Swimmers in the jurisdiction of Illinois’ Tazewell County Health Department (TCHD) may have enjoyed a summer of unprecedented access to their public pools. The credit for this happy state of affairs may be traced to a strong focus on proper pool chemistry and the consistent use of the old-school, but utilitarian, clipboard for help in

Pool Chemical Safety: What Pool Managers and Backyard Pool Owners Need to Know

Pool chemicals are essential to keeping swimming healthy and safe, but there are “two sides to this coin” that need to be considered. When used properly, they help destroy waterborne pathogens in the pool, clarify the water, and make the water comfortable for bathers. But when they are mishandled, pool chemicals can cause injury. A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzes the latest data on pool chemical injuries. It appears injury statistics have remained rather static over the period 2008 to 2016, which makes me wonder what it will take to start these numbers trending downward.

A New Survey Reveals Americans’ Understanding and Misunderstanding of Pool Chemicals

This spring the American Chemistry Council (ACC) sponsored a survey of over 3,000 American adults to gauge popular knowledge and awareness of a summer mainstay: pool chemicals. Swimmers depend on pool chemicals to help keep pool water safe, comfortable, and enjoyable, but many pool patrons may be unaware that they have a personal role to play in maintaining good pool chemistry. As an outside group of public health and consumer advisors to ACC, we reviewed the survey results and report here on the most surprising, most reassuring, and funniest of these findings.