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Pool Facts You Might Not Be Aware of (But Should Be)

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Whether you already own a pool or you’re looking into new pool installation, there are several facts you might not be informed about concerning owning a private pool. Plenty of these are applicable to both private and public pools, but they highlight the benefits of swimming in your own pool compared to a public pool.

Chlorine won’t destroy all bacteria. There are bacteria such as Cryptosporidium (also known as Crypto) and Giardia that can survive in the presence of chlorine. Cryptosporidium can survive for almost 10 days in a pool that is properly treated with chlorine. When Giardia enters and infects the small intestine, it can cause diarrhea, along with other symptoms. Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia diarrhea-causing bacteria that are found in feces-contaminated water. Then there are other rarer types of bacteria that can also be found in chlorine-treated water, like the brain-eating bacteria called Amoeba.

There is an increased likelihood of finding these bacteria in public pools because of how many more people use them, and because public pools usually aren’t emptied until the pool season has ended. However, these bacteria can also live in private pools. This is why it’s essential that you have your pool water treated and balanced properly. In addition, when it’s practical to do so, empty your pool and refill it with fresh water, then have it treated and balanced accordingly.

A properly treated pool won’t smell like bleach. If you can smell bleach, it means that the pool has many unhygienic substances that are reacting with the chlorine. When chlorine and ammonia (which is in bodily fluids and substances such as urine, feces, sweat, etc.) mix, that chlorine smell occurs. When a pool is treated properly with chlorine and other chemicals, there will be no chlorine smell. This is one more reason to ensure that you treat your pool properly and balance it accordingly.

Contaminants – bodily substances – cause red eyes, not the water or chlorine. There is a common misconception that the chlorine found in pools is what causes red eyes. But it’s actually contact with the dead skin and bacteria found in pools, along with the previously stated bodily substances (urine, feces, sweat, etc.), that results in irritated, red eyes. This isn’t as much of an issue when people shower before swimming, as the contaminants end up washed away down their shower drain instead of in the pool.

Pool bacteria causes swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear is usually a bacterial infection in your ear canal (when it’s not a viral or fungal ear infection). Indicators of infection include inner ear itching, having a hard time hearing, ear pus or fluid drainage, and substantial ear pain. Water earplugs are available and might help prevent the start of an infection, but it’s not a 100% safe bet.

Sunscreen and hair products reduce the effectiveness of chlorine. As previously mentioned, chlorine can’t entirely eliminate bacteria in the water that came from our bodies or other animals, but that doesn’t affect how effective the chlorine is. The lotions and hair products people wear into the pool are what really alter the effectiveness of chlorine. Again, this is virtually unescapable in public pools. However, if you have your own pool, you can set guidelines and ask visitors to shower before they get into your pool. If possible and practical, you can install an outdoor shower near your pool in order for people to do this more feasibly prior to going for a swim.

Improperly balanced pool water can ruin teeth. Long-term exposure to chlorine can damage teeth enamel and discolor teeth, while pools with high pH levels can make teeth brown.

Avoidance of most of these issues really boils down to one thing – bacteria (as well as viruses or fungus). It is the cause of the majority of these issues but is unescapable in public pools. Yet, if you own a private pool, you can decrease the likelihood of these issues by properly treating your pool with the correct chemical balance and giving it daily chlorine shocks. But, as mentioned earlier, there are cases where bacteria might be surviving in a perfectly treated pool. That is when it becomes crucial to empty the pool entirely and refill it with fresh water in order to remove the bacteria entirely. Additionally, of course, clean the pool out regularly with the skimmer to get rid of debris that could also be polluting the pool water with bacteria.

If you don’t have the time for a proper pool cleaning, you’re looking for a pool cleaning service that will provide it for you, or you want to discuss a possible pool installation and inground pool costs, please visit the Alaglas of Charleston contact page to submit a form, or call us at 843-789-9469.


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