Swimming pool safety should be foremost on your mind when you go to a pool for a fun swim in the hot sun. But individuals who own pools have their responsibilities as well, and not just to keep their pools safe from drowning hazards or other avoidable accidents. The quality of the pool water itself may cause you to become sick.
Many private and public pool owners understand the need to keep their pools clean of germs and harmful organisms. A pool owner who neglects to clean a pool runs the risk of pool contamination. This may result in recreational water illnesses.
How recreational water illnesses spread
As the CDC explains, a recreational water illness can come from anywhere you swim, like a natural body of water such as a river or a lake, or a privately owned locale like a swimming pool, water playground or a hot tub. You can contract an illness by swallowing water with germ contamination or by breathing in harmful pathogens. In some cases, you can get sick just by contacting contaminated water.
Types of recreational water illnesses
You could become sick in any number of ways. You might experience illness in your ear, eye, your respiratory system or your skin. These illnesses may come from natural germs that live in the water. If a pool owner does not clean the water, these germs can spread and make it more likely you will become ill.
The most common water illness is diarrhea. This is because some swimmers who already have diarrhea may spread light amounts of excrement in the water and cause others to become sick with diarrhea or other health ailments.
People most at risk
A recreational water illness is most likely to endanger the health of children or pregnant women. You may also be at risk if you take medicine that suppresses your immune system. This includes individuals with HIV or has received an organ transplant or cancer treatment.
A swimming pool owner who knows a pool is not currently safe should take measures to close off the pool to visitors and ward off curious children from venturing onto the property. Even if a visitor does not drown or get hurt in the pool, the pool water might cause illness and cause a court to hold the pool owner liable for the spread of the illness.