Summer is coming, which means it’s time to trade late night bourbons and a tiny bit of peace during the day for taking your kids to the public pool. That disgusting public pool, full of screaming kids, obnoxious teenagers, and fecal matter and dangerous bacteria according to a recent Center For Disease Control report.
According to the CDC, thousands of pools are closed every year for failing to meet health codes, but that doesn’t seem to even put a dent in the problem. The agency released data from 2013 compiling a collection of tests from thousands of pools and the results were pretty alarming. 80 percent of pools tested were shown to have at least one serious health code violation, and 12 percent had to be shut down immediately.
The biggest problem was good old fashioned fecal matter, which was found in microscopic abundance in many of the pools. Nearly 60 percent of the pools tested had some fecal matter in the water, and 58 percent tested positive for dangerous bacteria like salmonella and E-coli, which are both found in the digestive tracts of infected people, which explains how they got in the water, and can cause serious stomach problems, mostly diarrhea.
And that’s not the only reason a trip to the pool might have you running to the bathroom. Many pools also contain parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which can both give you the runs. And there are other dangerous bacterias in the water like Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, a source of skin infections, which is colloquially called “hot tub rash” for obvious reasons. And in case you’re wondering, it was found in 59 percent of pools tested.
The CDC has a couple of tips for avoiding these kinds of water-borne nasties. First, make sure to shower with soap before and after a trip to the pool. You can also find strips at most drug stores that you can use to test the water before you get in. And in case you need to be told at this point, for the love of God, don’t put the water in your mouth.
Happy summer, everybody!