Just in Time for Summer, the CDC Reminds Us That Swimming Pools Are Also Cesspools
Summer is coming, which means having no cares in the world while splashing around in the pool, right? Wrong. So, so wrong.
As the Verge reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is back to shit all over your good time. The message? Steer clear of swimming pools because they are cesspools. Which is great, because 2016 is on track to be the warmest year yet.
In 2013, the CDC chose the five states it considered most likely to have high pool traffic: New York, Arizona, Florida, California and Texas. Officials inspected 48,632 "aquatic facilities" a total of 84,187 times. Nearly 80% of those "routine inspections" uncovered a minimum of one health or safety violation, and just over 12% ended in the facility's "immediate closure."
The majority of violations involved chemical levels in the water – think: disinfectant and pH — or inadequate safety equipment. While imbalanced pH is unlikely to strike terror into the hearts of casual swimmers, those experienced in pool maintenance will know that keeping pH down at the right level is crucial for keeping water uncontaminated.
The CDC's investigation was not confined to lap pools, however: 66% of its inspections went down at public pools, 24% were of public hot tubs and spas and 3% were of public wading pools. Twenty-one percent of wading pool checks resulted in their closure, which one would perhaps expect, given the fact that these are kiddie pools.
Swimming pools host diarrhea-causing organisms including the cryptosporidium and giardia parasites and E. coli bacteria; their waters are often laced with fecal matter, urine and disease-causing germs that can, and on occasion have been, fatal.
This is welcome news for the thousands of daily visitors who swarm New York City's dozens of free public pools every summer for some family-friendly fun-in-the-sun.
In other news, guess who just got uninvited to the pool party?