Microbiologic Contamination of Filter Concentrates from Public Pools as Evidence of the Need for Improved Swimmer Hygiene — Atlanta, Georgia, 2012
Division of News & Electronic Media
A study of public pools found that feces are frequently introduced into pool water by swimmers. Water samples from pool filters were tested for Escherichia coli, a fecal indicator, which was detected in 93 (58 percent) of 161 samples. The tests cannot determine whether the E. coli represents risk to swimmers, but they do indicate that swimmers frequently introduced fecal material into pool water, which could lead to spreading germs to other swimmers. Swimmers can minimize fecal contamination and help keep germs out water by taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea. Aquatics staff can kill germs in pools by maintaining disinfectant level and pH according to state and local public health standards, which are enforced by environmental health specialists (pool inspectors).