The Water Quality and Health Council’s Healthy Pools survey shows your local pool is likely being used as a bathtub by swimmers. Public Health Expert for the council Chris Wiant says the survey reports 48 percent of swimmers never shower before getting into the pool.

“You can probably presume that number is under-reported as well as 40 percent admitted they peed in the pool. Again, you probably figure that those are the ones that admit it and there are probably others that don’t admit it.”

Wiant says when swimmers don’t wash off before getting in the pool it can raise the risk of waterborne illnesses.

“They can fuse the chlorine disinfectant and so when the bacteria comes along there may not be enough disinfectant to kill the bacteria which is the real mission of the disinfectant.”

A pre-swim shower helps remove dirt, perspiration, and personal care items like deodorant.

Wiant says the risk of waterborne illness is a problem when almost a quarter of swimmers surveyed would swim within an hour of having diarrhea.

“The recommendation is really don’t go in the pool for a couple weeks after having diarrhea. The problem with those kinds of diseases is the body continues to shed bacteria over quite a period of time.”

More information is available at Healthypools.org.