Peeing in pools: Survey says half of Americans use swimming pools as communal bathtubs

Quixem Ramierz of KTXS writes that a lot of people pee in swimming pools.

I was one of them one of them.

A new survey finds more than half of Americans (51 percent) use swimming pools as a communal bathtub– either swimming as a substitute for showering or using the pool to rinse off after exercise or yardwork. And, still, Americans knowingly make pools dirty despite nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents saying pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming.

“When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. “Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body.”

The survey revealed 40 percent of Americans admit they have peed in the pool as an adult. Peeing in the pool reacts with chlorine and reduces the amount of chlorine available to kill germs.

“The bottom line is: Don’t pee in the pool,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming program. “Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step.”

Playing in water, is it making you barf?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that outbreaks associated with treated recreational water can be caused by pathogens or chemicals.

During 2000–2014, 493 outbreaks associated with treated recreational water caused at least 27,219 cases and eight deaths. Outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium increased 25% per year during 2000–2006; however, no significant trend occurred after 2007. The number of outbreaks caused by Legionella increased 14% per year.

The aquatics sector, public health officials, bathers, and parents of young bathers can take steps to minimize risk for outbreaks. The halting of the increase in outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium might be attributable to Healthy and Safe Swimming Week campaigns.

Outbreaks associated with treated recreational water — United States, 2000–2014


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michele C. Hlavsa, MPH; Bryanna L. Cikesh, MPH; Virginia A. Roberts, MSPH; Amy M. Kahler, MS; Marissa Vigar, MPH; Elizabeth D. Hilborn, DVM; Timothy J. Wade, PhD; Dawn M. Roellig, PhD; Jennifer L. Murphy, PhD; Lihua Xiao, DVM, PhD; Kirsten M. Yates, MPH; Jasen M. Kunz, MPH; Matthew J. Arduino, DrPH; Sujan C. Reddy, MD; Kathleen E. Fullerton, MPH; Laura A. Cooley, MD; Michael J. Beach, PhD; Vincent R. Hill, PhD; Jonathan S. Yoder, MPH

Montana pool closed after intentional poop incident

Who poops in a pool? On purpose?

Bogert Pool was closed Thursday after fecal matter was found in the pool that morning.

caddyshack.pool.poop-1“To us it appears someone was in the facility overnight,” said Elizabeth Hill, the city’s interim aquatics manager. “It was something that would have been done sometime between us closing last night and opening this morning.”

Staff members discovered “a decent amount” of fecal matter intentionally placed in the pool when they removed covers from the surface, Hill said.

The pool was closed while it was cleaned and more chlorine was added. It is expected to reopen this morning.

“We just follow the standard procedure of letting chlorine do its work in filtering through the system for 24 hours,” Hill said. “Our first priority and concern is just getting the matter out of the water and letting the chlorine start to work.”

Poop, water and illness

A dozen people – mainly kids — got sick after exposure to raw sewage at a splash pad in Traverse City, Mich., an 8-year-old with cryptosporidium had a dump in a Philadelphia pool that forced its closure July 4, at least 90 people were sickened with Shigella after poop-in-poolswimming at Burrillville’s Spring Lake Beach in Rhode Island, and the municipality of Östersund in northern Sweden has been charged for environmental crimes following an outbreak of cryptosporidium which sickened some 30,000 people in the winter of 2010.

In Sweden, prosecutor Lars Magnusson said, “It concerns the fact that they failed to deliver drinking water free from parasites, and this is something that they are required to do under the drinking water regulations.”

The city established the source of the infection in late 2010, tracing the outbreak to a residential building in the Odensala area of the city. It was found that a sewage pipe had been erroneously connected to a rain water pipe.

Östersund has meanwhile disputed the charges, claiming that it had sufficient checks in place.

In Michigan, city workers discovered June 30 at mid-morning that sewage backed up when a pump station failed and pushed raw caddyshack.pool.poop-1sewage into an underground reservoir that feeds sprinklers for the splash pad, rain arc, and mister.

In Rhode Island, beach manager Cheri Hall rolled out the standard of risk communication bullshit, saying, “We’ve never had a problem. I’ve been manager for 22 years and all of our samples always come back good.”

New media in academic practice

I’ve always wanted to be featured in, especially in the personal financial management section.

I say that new media allows for more interactions, and really, who doesn’t want more interactions.

“Writers also learn to write short and precise excerpts via social media, rather than the long, strung-out reports seen in traditional academic reporting. Professor Powell (right, not exactly as shown) describes this as the democratization of information: the accurate, to-the-point reporting conducted by academic scholars, which is accessible to the general public via social media. He reiterates that social media is great for quick, accessible information, but the traditional form of reporting is not outdated and remains very practical for in-depth research. Thus the two forms of communication are complementary, each supporting the other in order to supplement the academic community with reliable, up-to-date information.”

It’s not OK to swim with diarrhea; safe swimming in Utah after cryptosporidiosis outbreak, 2008–2009, 5,700 sickened

It matters what’s done after people barf. Same if people have diarrhea – in a pool.

During the summer of 2007, almost 6,000 people in Utah started barfing from Cryptosporidium, transmitted via the barfblog fav, fecal-oral route

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that of 1,506 interviewed patients with laboratory-confirmed cryptosporidiosis, 1,209 (80%) reported swimming in at least one of approximately 450 recreational water venues during their potential 14-day incubation period.

Cryptosporidium is extremely chlorine-tolerant, and secondary or supplemental disinfection with ultraviolet light or ozone can control but not prevent outbreaks. Because swimmers are the primary source of Cryptosporidium contamination, healthy swimming campaigns are needed to increase awareness and practice of healthy swimming behaviors, especially not swimming while ill with diarrhea (i.e., swimming while ill with diarrhea can lead to gross contamination of recreational water). Before the 2008 summer swimming season, Utah public health agencies launched a multimedia healthy swimming campaign. To assess knowledge of healthy swimming, a survey of Utah residents was conducted during July–September 2008. The results of that survey found that 96.1% of respondents correctly indicated that "it is not OK to swim if you have diarrhea."

In a separate national survey in 2009, 100% of Utah residents but only 78.4% of residents of other states correctly indicated that "not swimming while ill with diarrhea protects others from recreational water illnesses (RWIs)." No recreational water–associated outbreaks were detected in Utah during 2008–2011. The healthy swimming campaign, as part of a multipronged prevention effort, might have helped prevent recreational water–associated outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in Utah.

Before the 2008 summer swimming season, Utah’s state and local public health agencies teamed with community partners to control recreational water–associated transmission of Cryptosporidium. For example, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD) collaborated with pool operators to establish fecal incident–response protocols and install secondary or supplement disinfection systems to inactivate Cryptosporidium at 75 treated recreational water venues.

SLVHD also collaborated with the Utah Department of Health and diagnostic laboratories to expedite reporting of cryptosporidiosis cases to public health authorities. To engage the public in prevention, SLVHD led efforts to disseminate healthy swimming messages via a website, two television advertisements, public service radio announcements, and posters at pools (e.g., "A Swimming Pool is Like a Community Bathtub"). In addition, targeted messages were disseminated to schools, competitive water sports teams, and licensed childcare facilities. SLVHD also conducted a press conference during Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week, which is held each year the week before the Memorial Day holiday.

The complete report is available at

Jennifer Lopez’s son had a $6,000 poop in her pool

The 3-year-old son of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony had a poop in their pool and it cost $6,000 to clean.

Oh The Scandal reports that Marc told Jay Leno this week, “He had an accident in the pool. It got into the filtration system and they charged us to clean it. That was expensive. He took a $6,000 dump in the pool!”

UK operator ordered to pay damages to tourists sickened in Spain

British tourists always seem to be getting sick on their vacations to southern locales and they always seem to be battling with tour operators.

In 2003, a bunch went to Baulo Hotel in Majorca and contracted either salmonella from poorly prepared food or cryptosporidium from the swimming pool.

In 2006, the claimants initiated legal action.

Today a judge ruled that one of the UK’s largest tour operators should have warned holidaymakers about an outbreak of illness at a Spanish resort.

The judge said that Thomson, which is now part of the larger European Tui group, was liable for damages.

In what may have wider implications for the travel industry, the judge also ruled that Thomson ought to have warned guests about the outbreak at the hotel before they travelled, in order to give them an opportunity to either rebook or cancel, but had failed to do so.

Thomson accepted its liability in the salmonella cases, but argued that in the cases of cryptosporidium, it could not have done more to get rid of the illness from the resort, adding,

"We are very disappointed with the decision as we sincerely believe that we did everything in our power to safeguard our customers’ wellbeing at the time."

The company said the real winners would be "the ‘no win no fee’ solicitors involved."

Swimmers barfing, condoms clogging toilets at Commonwealth Games

The British swim squad at the Commonwealth games has been decimated by Delhi belly since arriving in India.

Rob Mancini wrote a couple of days ago about two instances; the number of sick British swimmers has now risen to 40.

The Telegraph reported that it later emerged that the Australian swimming team are testing the water quality at the aquatics complex. The problem could even stem from pigeon droppings which can swell contagious diseases. Pigeons have been nesting in the rafters since competition began here.

Whatever is causing swimmers to barf, toilets in the athletes’ village are clogged with condoms.

Plumbers sent to unblock toilets said used condoms were the problem, with an un-named health official quoted as saying 2,000 of the 8,000 free contraceptives had been used so far.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said the report was a positive, adding,

"I am not quite sure what the point is, if that is happening it shows that there is use of condoms and I think that is a very positive story, that athletes are being responsible."

‘Be the bug’ and beware cross-contamination

I routinely appropriate lines from popular movies.

When trying to explain the risks of cross-contamination and dangerous microorganisms moving around, I invoke the scene from Caddyshack where Chevy Chase explains to Danny how the universe works and “to be the ball.”

Be the bug.

Produce, pet food, pizza and pot pies — the bugs that make humans barf are showing up in wild and wacky places. And they move around. A lot.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updated the ongoing outbreak of Salmonella infection, serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- linked to frozen mice fed to reptiles. As of July 29, 2010, 34 were sick from 17 states. Hundreds were sick in the U.K. last year from the same bug from the same supplier.

Pet owners, be the bug, and consider all the opportunities that bug has to move from dead, frozen mouse to counters, dishes, hands, and the environment. CDC says,

* Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling frozen rodents used as food for reptiles, or anything in the area where they are stored, thawed, prepared, and fed to reptiles.

* Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling live rodents and reptiles, or anything in the area where they live and roam.

* Keep frozen rodents away from areas where food and drink are stored, prepared, served, or consumed.

* Avoid using microwave ovens or kitchen utensils used for human food to thaw frozen rodents used for reptile feed. Any kitchen surfaces that come in contact with frozen rodents should be disinfected afterwards.

* Do not let children younger than 5 years of age or people with weakened immune systems handle frozen rodents.

Be the bug.