CDC Report Finds 58 Percent of Pools Have Fecal Matter Bacteria

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According to a new study, there is some reason to fear a “Caddyshack”-like pool moment this summer — and it won’t be just a false alarm with a candy bar either.

A new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that E.Coli, bacteria associated with fecal matter, was present in 58 percent of the pools it tested.

Taking samples from pool filters, which the report states generally have higher densities of pool contaminants than the rest of the water, from pools in the metro-Atlanta region during the 2012 swimming season, the researchers found that more “vigilant pool cleaning, scrubbing and water quality maintenance” is needed to prevent the presence of such bacteria from impacting swimmer health.

“Swimming is an excellent way to get the physical activity needed to stay healthy,” Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement. “However, pool users should be aware of how to prevent infections while swimming. Remember, chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly. That’s why it’s important for swimmers to protect themselves by not swallowing the water they swim in and to protect others by keeping feces and germs out of the pool by taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea.”

The fecal matter enters the pool by washing off of swimmers bodies — or even as an “incident in the water.” Thankfully none of the samples taken included the strain of E.coli that produces toxins capable of leading to illnesses.

Although water parks and residential pools were not sampled, of those included in the study, the worst offenders for the presence of bacteria associated with fecal matter were municipal pools and those frequented by many children.

Suggestions to help protect swimmer’s health, in addition to proper pool maintenance, include having people shower before getting in the pool, requesting those with illnesses, like diarrhea, stay out of the pool, taking a bathroom break every hour and washing one’s hands after using the restroom or changing diapers.

If you aren’t familiar with the reference being made at the beginning of this post to the 1980 film “Caddyshack,” here’s the scene:

(H/T: Atlantic Wire)

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Featured image via Shutterstock.com.