Swim Safe – Swimming Pool & Spa Series


Did you know that most people do not shower before entering our public pools? In fact, many adults and children use a “pool day” to substitute a daily shower during those hot summer months. The introduction of daily sweat, urine and feces can cause several health hazards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors outbreaks in public swimming pools/spas and waterparks that are caused by pathogens and treatment chemicals in the water. “Between 2000 and 2014, a total of 493 waterborne disease outbreaks associated with treated recreational waters were reported, resulting in over 27,219 cases of illness and eight deaths” (Vincent, p.1, 2019). Even though our recreational water is sterilized with Chlorine, there are a couple different dangerous pathogens and parasites that are resistant to this chemical such as Cryptosporidium and Legionella (Vincent, p.1, 2019).


Cryptosporidiosis is a “gastrointestinal illness caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium…and can be spread directly from person to person, through contact with contaminated objects (e.g., toys), or by swallowing contaminated water (drinking and recreational) or food” (CDC, P.1, 2015). The most severe symptom associated with Crypto is watery diarrhea and may be accompanied by a fever, nausea/vomiting, upset stomach and an overall sick feeling. This disease is transferred through feces so when several people are using pools/spas without a shower first, an outbreak is unfortunately expected to occur somewhere. 

Other common illnesses to be concerned about are spread through Legionella bacteria, which “can cause a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria can also cause a less serious illness called Pontiac fever” Symptoms of Legionnaires may include coughing, shortness of breath, achy muscles, headaches and fever. (CDC, p.1, 2018.). “Pontiac fever is milder than Legionnaires’ disease and presents as an influenza like illness, with fever, headache, and muscle aches, but no signs of pneumonia” (Cooley, p.1, 2019). These infections are contracted when contaminated small water droplets in the air are accidentally aspirated (inhaled) and not generally spread from person to person.


Using an Aqua Ultraviolet (UV) sterilizer on your pool will kill bacteria and viruses, inactivating them to eliminate the spread of disease. UV kills all single cell bacteria, pathogens and protozoa like the ones mentioned previously. Not only will a UV get rid of those, it will eliminate chloramine and its odors without effecting its pH and lower chemical use and cost by 75%. The Twist application on our Swimming Pool & Spa UV Systems allows for adjustments to the inlet and outlet angles for the perfect position for installation. Aqua Ultraviolet offers an optional wiper version of these units which makes cleaning the quartz sleeve simple, has the longest lamp life on the market, and overall increases the life of pool equipment.

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Sources and further reading: 
How To Help Prevent Getting Sick At Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Waterparks
https://waterandhealth.org/healthy-pools/hygiene-health/how-to-help-prevent-getting-sick-at-pools-spas-hot-tubs-and-waterparks/ , Vincent, 2019. 

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/resources/childcare_outbreak.pdf , CDC, 2015.

About Legionnaires Disease and Pontiac Fever | Legionella | Cdc

https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/index.html , CDC, 2018.

Travelers’ Health
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/travel-related-infectious-diseases/legionellosis-legionnaires-disease-and-pontiac-fever , Cooley, 2019.

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For over three decades, Aqua Ultraviolet has been the premier manufacturer of ultraviolet sterilizers and bio-mechanical filtration.

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