(Warning: possible EEEEWWWW alert!)
I remember seeing signs like this on my old neighborhood's prefab, above-ground, backyard swimming pools (yet another item lost to the sameness of exurbia and HOAs):
Well, after seeing the following article in Ladycub's Nursing Spectrum magazine, I might hesitate a bit for a similar, but worse reason:
The Germy Truth About Public Swimming Pools
Seems that the big problem with pools isn't #1, as the signs imply, but #2:
Many people assume that a well-maintained swimming pool is germ-free, that chlorinated water is just as clean as drinking water, and that chlorine kills all germs instantly. But this is not true. Even the best-maintained pools with adequate chlorine levels (1 ppm to 3 ppm free available chlorine) can transmit waterborne diseases.Now here's the REALLY shocking part from the article, which I had no idea was the case. Emphasis mine:
Cryptosporidium and Giardia are fecally transmitted protozoan parasites that have been linked to outbreaks of GI illnesses from swimming pools and water parks. These common intestinal parasites can withstand chlorine disinfection for a considerable period of time. For example, Cryptosporidium excreted in the feces of infected humans can survive and remain infective for nearly 11 days, and Giardia can survive at least 30 to 60 minutes.
With Cryptosporidium, a single fecal accident can contaminate an entire pool, and swallowing a few mouthfuls of water can result in an infection. With Giardia, swallowing as few as 10 cysts of Giardia (the infectious form) can cause an infection. Fecal accidents are not uncommon in pools. Each day, up to 2 to 3 pounds of feces [!] can be found in the water of an average-sized public pool from fecal accidents and from swimmers’ bodies from improper cleansing after bowel movements.How would you have liked to be the one collecting the, um, evidence to support that research? Either that, or now we know the real reason why kids don't want to be lifeguards anymore. Two to three pounds!
No need to thank me for this public service. Now, anyone for some Sharks and Minnows?
UPDATE: The lovely and gracious Ladycub reminded me that I had quite a few problems with diarrhea a few years back. It's a bit of a longshot, but could the fact that I was swimming regularly at an overcrowded YMCA pool have had something to do with it? I think I've been in a swimming pool twice in the last two years.