CLEVELAND, Ohio — E. coli is a common bacteria found in the intestines and released in human waste.
Sometimes, it also lurks under the surface of the water at your local public pool
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during a sampling of public pools across the country last summer, 58 percent of filters tested positive for E. coli.
The CDC study said the pool contamination is swimmer-introduced and “indicates swimmers frequently contaminate pool water when they have a fecal incident in the water or when feces rinse off of their bodies because they do not shower thoroughly before getting into the water.”
Dr. Melissa Osborn from MetroHealth said there’s no reason for parents to be too concerned.
“If you develop any symptoms of diarrhea, you should go get that checked out because that would actually be the most common thing that E. coli could cause,” said Osborn.’
“I swam in them when I was little, they were nasty then – I know they’re nasty now,” said one Cleveland resident.
But another woman disagreed, telling FOX 8, “Every time I go to the pools, they look clean to me. They have been at the pool, they never have any issue.”
In a release on the findings, the CDC also said, “The study did not address water parks, residential pools or other types of recreational water. The study does not allow CDC to make conclusions about all pools in the United States.”
The CDC recommends the following for all swimmers:
- Do not swim when you have diarrhea.
- Shower with soap before you start swimming.
- Take a rinse shower before you get back into the water.
- Take bathroom breaks every 60 minutes.
- Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Do not swallow the water you swim in.
The CDC recommends the following for parents of young children:
- Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or check diapers every 30–60 minutes.
- Change diapers in the bathroom or diaper-changing area and not at poolside where germs can rinse into the water.
Joe Beno from the city of Lakewood said they follow strict guidelines to keep their pools clean, and there’s no need for anyone to be concerned.
“We have our various checks that are done, that our lifeguards do, as far as the amount of chlorine in the pool and the proper balance of chemicals in the pool,” said Beno.
Most public pools in Northeast Ohio start opening for the season within a few weeks.
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