Pool owners are always concerned about germs taking hold in their pools, so the emerging coronavirus disaster must be playing heavily on their minds. As the number of deaths and infected rises and with no vaccine in sight, COVIC-19, as it’s now been named by the World Health Organisation, is rapidly heading towards pandemic status.
Can the coronavirus be spread by water?
Whilst we still aren’t 100% sure how the coronavirus is spread, water is being postulated as one form of distribution via pipes, and another is via faeces. The CDC suggests that transmission is also via close contact with an infected person (droplets in the air), similar to the spread of influenza. How this relates to pool owners is unclear, but we do know that people who swim in pools can be susceptible to infections that are transmitted via close quarters or water.
Other pathogens found in pools
Outbreaks of cryptosporidium (it causes diarrhoea) have been increasing by 13% every year in the US, so it’s likely to be similar here in Australia. Cryptosporidium is transmitted via contaminated faeces, so it’s easily spread in swimming pools. The CDC has even stated that cryptosporidium can survive for days in swimming pools, resulting in profuse, watery diarrhoea that can last for weeks, and the elderly, pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable. Cryptosporidium is very resistant to chlorine making it difficult to eradicate and it’s even been called a significant waterborne pathogen.
Other pathogens that are frequently found in swimming pools (particularly in hotels) are E. Coli, Salmonella, Camplobacter, Norovirus, and multiple parasites.
Sickness from pools – how easy is it?
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to become sick after a swim in someone’s backyard pool. Just imagine people jumping into pools, splashing water into the air (all those minute water droplets in the air), swallowing water, inhaling water, and spitting water back into the pool.
If your pool water does contain pathogens, it’s very easy to pass this around to the whole neighbourhood. Ear infections, diarrhoea and respiratory infections are frequently tracked back to time spent in swimming pools.
Even if you keep your pool spotless, someone who is infected with a pathogen can transmit it into the water and you would never know!
Protecting your family from your pool
Adding more chlorine to the water isn’t the solution, because it can cause red and irritated eyes, as well as dermatitis and other skin rashes (also cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine).
The solution is to prevent pathogens entering your pool by showering for at least 60 seconds before and after being in the pool. Anyone who has suffered diarrhoea in the past two weeks shouldn’t enter the pool, and no-one should urinate or do number 2s in the pool.
Always put nappies on babies and toddlers in the pool, take toilet breaks every 30 minutes (ideal for kids) and don’t swallow the water. Keeping your pool pristine with regular checks is also essential.
After all the concern about pathogens in pools, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to remove the pool! You can even turn the space into another fantastic opportunity.
So if you want your pool filled in and landscaped, call Reverse Pools on 0433 377 969.