When NOT to jump in! Signs you need to look for before you take the plunge.

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In a couple of weeks pools across America will open their doors to excited children and families, ready for some fun in the sun.  Memorial weekend is the perfect time to welcome summer and kick off pool opening parties everywhere.

Before you jump in this summer, here are some signs to look for to ensure the water is safe.

  1. Cloudy water – indicates low chlorine and or filtration problem – Proceed with Caution!
  2. Green or greenish water – if the water is green, there is algae growing which means bacteria – Don’t Swim there!  Algae in a pool that is not properly sanitized is likely to cause ear or throat infection.  In addition you should NEVER swim in a pool where you can not see the bottom.
  3. Strong chlorine smell – in indoor pools. Proceed with caution!  If there is a strong chlorine smell, you are smelling chloramines, NOT chlorine.  Chloramines are a gas.  Chloramines cause respiratory problems, burning eyes and lung irritation. A well balanced pool will NOT smell of chlorine. This is a ventilation and chemical issue.  Be VERY careful.  If you are in a hotel I would NOT swim there. Some indoor pools open doors to allow fresh air in or turn on fans.  This definitely helps, but if you have asthma or hear a lot of patrons coughing you should vacate.
  4. Itchy rash and eyes – Many issues could be happening.  It could be chloramines, unbalanced PH or chlorine.  Well balanced water will NOT cause skin or eye irritation. Proceed with caution.
  5. Foaming or bubbling in  the corners – indicates a problem with sanitation and filtration.  Don’t swim there!

I carry a small kit with me when traveling.  I’ll take the testing tools for chlorine and ph out of my kit.  I do a quick test just to give me piece of mind.  And unfortunately about 50% of the time the pool is not chlorinated.  Last year I was at an outdoor hotel pool full of people.  It was pretty cloudy so I did a quick test.  It had .5 ppm of chlorine.  I alerted the staff to which they did nothing.  This is pretty normal.  Unless the health department shows up, they usually won’t do anything.  This is how people get crypto, Shigella, E.Coli, and norovirus from un-sanitized pool water.  It’s not worth it!

Kiddos will not be very happy but I would rather a grumpy kiddo over a sick one.  Amusement parks are typically really good at keeping levels high, however they do not close for potty accidents and throw ups.  Just a word of caution!

I hope this helps you and your family have a safe and happy summer!

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May 10, 2017

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