Swimming pools are exposed bodies of water and are thus subject to contamination. The contamination can be carried into the pool water by the environment (e.g. wind, rain) or by swimmers.
There has been a dramatic increase in infections and infectious diseases from swimming pools over the past few years. Some strains of bacteria and viruses have built up resistance to the chlorine we use as a sanitiser in our swimming pools. Others are destroyed very slowly. Consequently, there has been an increasing demand for alternative sanitisers able to quickly and effectively destroy the disease carrying organisms.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent bacteria and viruses from entering the pool water. In swimming pools with a high swimmer load, the level of contaminants entering the water are especially high. Ill or recovering people are requested to abstain from swimming, but many ignore this plea. Chlorine breaks down very fast in the presence of high contamination and swimmer load and due to the effects of the sun’s UV rays and heat. With these factors in mind, many swimming pool maintainers over-chlorinate the pool water in the hope that illness can be prevented.
This creates another dilemma – chlorine, too, can cause health problems and overuse should be avoided at all costs. Mineral water sanitisers such as the Pool Wizard can reduce chlorine consumption by 75%, thus creating a safer and healthier swimming environment. The Pool Wizard also effectively destroys potentially harmful bacteria, viruses and algae before they can strike.
A total reliance on chlorine for swimming pool disinfection is illogical in the light of research results. There is unequivocal proof of the efficacy of non-chlorine additives or pool water treatments that can supplement chlorine to create safer pool water. Elements such as copper and silver have become widely accepted as potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents. Patented products like the Pool Wizard make good use of this knowledge in producing swimming pool disinfectants able to cope with the micro-organisms that chlorine cannot destroy.
These are some of the diseases that can result from infected pool water:
- Gastroenteritis, Dysentery, Amoebic dysentery, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidiosis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Dermatitis. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Below are some references to illnesses resulting from swimming pool water:
- Chlorine can take up to 4 days to neutralise Cryptosporidium parvum, the causes of severe illness and transmitted through pool water, despite a balanced pool chemistry and free chlorine levels 0f 2.oppm. (CDC – Emerging Infectious Diseases)
- . . . out of 282 pools tested, over 50% of the pools which had a chlorine level above 2.0 ppm still had both E. Coli and Pseudonomas bacteria present. (Dr. Peter Gaffney, Professor of Microbiology at Georgia State University, “Microbiological Evaluation of Swimming Pools in Fulton County Georgia (Atlanta)”)
- “Swimmers had significantly more eye, ear and skin infections than non-swimmers, largely because of high bacteria and virus levels in pools, according to Illinois Public Health Researcher, Linda Berrafato.” (USA Today)
- “Swimming asthma” has been observed, especially in young children, as a result of breathing in the by-products (trihalomethanes) of chlorine used in swimming pools. (Reuters Health; Toxicology Letters, 72)
- Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems and increased risk of cancer have been observed as a result of the by-products (trihalomethanes) of chlorine use. (EPA – Safe Water Regulations)
- Eye and nose irritation, stomach discomfort and anemia can occur as a result of chlorine (Cl2 or ClO2) or chloramines in the water. (EPA – Safe Water Regulations)
- Outbreaks of illness from recreational water in 2000 were 228% higher compared to 2 years earlier. (Center for Disease Control)
- Diarrhea has been steadily on the rise since the mid-1980s as new germs appear that are increasingly resistant to chlorine used to disinfect pools. (Michael Beach, CDC medical epidemiologist)
- “The EPA has raised skin absorption of chlorine to its top 10 carcinogen Watch List.” (The Washington Post, June 1994)