Half of Americans Admit to Using Swimming Pool Instead of Shower, New Survey Shows

A new survey has found that more than half of Americans use the swimming pool instead of taking a shower, a habit that reportedly promotes bad pool chemistry.

The unpleasant finding is one of many unearthed in a study conducted last month by Sachs Media Group, a PR firm working on behalf of the Water Quality & Health Council, a group of advisors to the chlorine industry trade association.

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

EXPERT WARNING

According to the study, 51% of Americans admitted to using the pool as a substitute for the shower or using it to rinse off after exercise or yard work.

Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, said in a statement:

“When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs. Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body.”

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

MORE WORRISOME DISCOVERIES

Another offensive discovery made by the survey is that 40% of Americans say they’ve peed in the pool at some point in their adult life.

According to the Water Quality & Health Council website, that nasty habit reduces the amount of chlorine available to kill germs in a pool.

“The bottom line is: Don’t pee in the pool,” added Michele Hlavsa of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Swimming program. “Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step.”

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

HEALTH CONSEQUENCES

Even more shocking is the fact that 24% of Americans admitted in the survey to going into a swimming pool within an hour of having diarrhea, exposing others in the pool to feces and germs contamination.

Sadly, most Americans also do not know that personal care items like makeup and deodorant can impact pool chemistry.

Jim Mock, Interim Executive Director of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, advised:

“Pools are great places to have fun with friends and family. A trained pool operator can get the mix of pool chemicals healthy and safe, and swimmers can help keep it right by swimming healthy.”

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

People swimming in a pool. | Photo: Flickr

WHAT TO DO

According to CBS News, the CDC recommends all swimmers stay out of the pool if they have diarrhea. Everyone should also rinse off before entering a swimming pool.

To ensure optimum safety, pool-goers are advised to use a pool test kit to measure free chlorine or bromine levels and pH in the pool.

People enjoying a game of pool volleyball. | Photo: Flickr

People enjoying a game of pool volleyball. | Photo: Flickr

The CDC reportedly recommends the following levels:

  • Free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and at least 3 ppm in hot tubs/spas.
  • Free bromine concentration of at least 3 ppm in pools and at least 4 ppm in hot tubs/spas.
  • a pH of 7.2-7.8.

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