Knowing When A Swimming Pool Is Unsafe And What You Can Do

Knowing When A Swimming Pool Is Unsafe And What You Can Do

For me, a swimming pool is nothing more than any body of water that can be swum on either an open surface or in an enclosure, usually on the ground, though in recent times, pools are even created above. Again, a swimming pool is a large hole in the ground that has been made and filled with water so that people can swim in it.

Based on this definition, I can even call a sea, river, or stream a swimming pool, but probably a natural one. That would easily make it obvious to see that there could be natural and artificial. You may call the natural one a pond and the other a pool. Lets look at the swimming pool [the artificial type].

What types of swimming pool are available?

There are four types of inground pools:

  • Fiberglass
  • vinyl liner,
  • concrete (also called gunite).
  • Optimum pool

To give highlights to these types, I will pick them one after the other to explain a bit before I go ahead to other major things.

Fiberglass pool

A fiber glass pool is a type of pool that is made by the installation of fiber glass, which is always made from another site. The fiber glass is always reinforced with a fiberglass shell, covered in protective gel coats. The shell is manufactured off-site and installed in one piece. They are modeled somewhere else and installed to fit the ground.

Vinyl liner pool

This is called a vinyl pool because of the vinyl material used to make it. Usually it is not modeled like the fiber glass but built onto the ground. The ground is made of concrete, but the sides and top are fitted with vinyl sheet, which is also used to create pathways around the pool.

A vinyl liner pool has a custom made sheet of vinyl between the water and the pool structure. Vinyl liners typically lock their top edge, called a bead, into a track located on the bottom of the coping, which is at deck level.

Concrete or gunite

Similar to vinyl, this kind of pool is also made of a material called gunite. Though gunite is not exactly the same as concrete, it has the same material mix though with different handling. Gunite is a dry mix of concrete pumped with air and sprayed with water to form a moldable and strong mix. The mixture of these is used to form gunite, used in gunite pool construction.

Optimum pool

This type is called optimum because of its versatility, multi-purpose, and flexibility in handing, fixture, and usage. They are always made of aluminum and steel materials combined into a specific shape that can be installed anywhere, especially where there is a slope to reduce the challenges associated with land forms.

Having gone through the little exposures on the types of pools, we can go ahead to see other information about pools, beginning with the very reasons swimming pools are important to each and everyone.

Importance of swimming pools

  1. Recreation: most times when we are worn out, those who do not have pools would rush to the shower and remain there under rushing water to ease off stress; and other times, we just want to have fun and spend leisure time. Swimming pools are great tools for such. I mean if you have a swimming pool beside your house, you will just always have ready source of recreation.
  2. Skill building: you want to your children how to swim early in life as a skill probable because of the numerous gains of the swimming skills. The best thing is to install a swimming pool in the compound because it is the easiest way to learn great swimming skill that will aid the associated skills
  3. Safety: it is one thing to know to swim but if you don’t already have a close and safe place, you might be risking your life. You want your children or entire people to easily catch fun through swimming without being hurt and keep them safe without exposing them to dangers of drowning, bites, injuries and more, the best thing is to consider installation of a swimming pool that will give you great aid.
  4. Control: since pools are artificial, the flux of water and other objects in it can be in total control bringing about constant assurance that there will be no hazards.

What pool level is unsafe?

When pool level is mentioned, a lot of things may come to your mind, but the most important level considered here is the acidity and basicity measurement level of the water in the pool. This measurement is regarded as the pH level. pH measurements are usually between 0 and 14; while 0 to 7 means acidic, 8 to 14 means basic.

A pH of 7.0 is balanced.  For a pool to be safe, the pH level should be balanced. A pool that is “balanced” has proper levels of pH, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness. These are: pH: 7.2-7.8, Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm, Calcium Hardness, 180-220 ppm and Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer): 30-50 ppm. Chlorine levels should remain constant in the 1-3 ppm range.

How do you know if your pool is safe?

It is very important that you know how safe your pool is whether a personal pool or public pool is. We have heard several times how people who go to swim end up drowning and in other cases, people go and come back sick. If you want to always note the safety levels of your pool then knowing these information is key;

  1. Water clarity: I know you won’t just want to go and swim in dirty water, but that’s the thing here. The water in pools may not be that dirty like gutter water, but would have a way of indicating a dirty pool. One way is to go around the pool and look through it to see that the water color is the same everywhere. Normally, the color of pools should be blue, and if it is not blue, it may not be good for swimming. Look for any cloudiness in the water. Make sure you can see all the way to the bottom of the pool, even the deep end.
  2. Life guard: any public swimming pool would always have a life guard. If the pool administrators do not have anyone to rescue people who may have difficulty in swimming then they are surely not planning on how to save anyone and it is certainly not safe.
  3. Inspect the pool: there are specialists that can always test the properties of the pool or the water in the pool to help keep the pool safe. If it is a public pool then always ask for pool test results so that you can be sure of the pool’s safety. If the pool is yours, then ensure you regularly test your pool to balance the properties.
  4. Read the manufacturer’s instructions: for any good pool, there would be an instruction posted somewhere on how the pool would be used. If that is not there then the pool may be misused by anyone which means it won’t be safe.
  5. Smell the water: if the water in the pool is smelling, then it is not safe for swimming because there is no doubt that while you swim, water will not enter your body either through your mouth or skin.

Is it ok to swim in a green pool?

A green pool surface shows clearly that there is poor treatment of the pool because algae and fungi are growing on it. Other times, it is chemical concentration problems, so if a pool is green, it is not nice for swimming. The algae in it can cause slip and you will fall and incur an injury which you can’t even explain. The chemicals in it can also cause toxicity that will result from the contact with your skin.

Can you swim in a pool with a little bit of algae?

Blue-green algae produces toxic cyanobacteria and this grows in poorly sanitized pools, particularly in areas that are directly exposed to sunlight. The slimy and smelly film that floats on the water’s surface is a distinct green color, so look carefully for it before going for a swim. If there’s an off-smell, don’t go for a swim. My position on this is NO, don’t even attempt it.

What happens if you swim in an untreated pool?

Untreated pools have tendencies to harbor bacteria, fungi, and other chemical constituents that will always cause harm to the body and could completely cause health hazards. As untreated water when drunk can cause cholera, you are also exposed to other health challenges.

What infections can you get from a swimming pool?

Open water surfaces are always prone to health hazards because they accumulate a lot of microorganisms that are not good for the human body. Similar cases are expected from a swimming pool, especially in cases where the pool is not treated well. There will be easy transmission of disease like skin diseases, scalp, E.coli, Salmonella, Camplobacter, Legionella, Pseudomonas, etc.

Can pool water cause a bacterial infection?

YES.

There are many bacterial germs that live in water and can easily be contracted by constant contact with the water. A good example is the coronavirus [COVID-19].  E. coli, campobacter and many more. The symptoms of the illnesses include diarrhea, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, stomach cramps, cholera etc.

Can you get pink eye from the pool?

You know what happens when you go to swim in a local natural pond? Your eye will turn pink or red to show you that you have introduced the eye to harsh conditions. Swimming in a dirty pool is in no way different as you will definitely get it and go back with a disease.

Can you get a fungal infection from a swimming pool?

YES

You can contact a fungal infection through pools because the human body easily contracts it from dirty surfaces and it is easily transmitted through liquid surfaces like pools.

What is the highest chlorine level safe to swim in?

Chlorine is a chemical used to treat water germs. When it is high, it can cause health hazards. A good and safe pool should have a chlorine level of between 2 and 4 parts per million. It can be allowed between 1 and 5 ppm, but any excess of this can cause hazards.

Can I swim in a high pH pool?

YES

But expect irritation in your eyes and know that acids can burn skin and a low pH value means high acidity. If the acidity is high, then the chlorine content would be low, and since it’s low, the water treatment level would also be low, leading to porosity and health hazards.

What I mean by this is that it is not impossible to swim, but it has health implications.

 How do you know if your pool has bacteria?

If the pool is yours, then buying a The Watersafe® Bacteria Test would be a recommendation from me. But if it’s not yours, before you choose your intended pool to swim in, request at least a recent one to ensure you are safe.

Can you go swimming on your period?

YES

It is not hazardous to swim during your period. Experts also suggest that it is even more beneficial as the pressure of water can reduce the flow. Also, you can wear protective clothing for the risk of infections but ensure to remove it once you are done.

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