Showering Before & After Diving into a Swimming Pool
We see signs posted in most public pools, resorts, and waterparks asking visitors to shower before entering the water. These signs often go ignored because people do not fully understand the reasoning behind the request. But showering before (and after) diving into a swimming pool protects the pool, as well as the health and safety of all swimmers.
Why Should I Shower Before Swimming?
Swimming pools get carefully treated with chemicals to kill harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, crypto, norovirus, and giardia. While chlorine is an effective disinfectant, it doesn’t kill bacteria instantly, especially when a pool’s chemicals become unbalanced. When this occurs, we sometimes notice a rapid spread of RWIs (recreational water illnesses). These types of illnesses spread through fecal and organic body matter in communal swimming pools.
Bacteria may also spread in swimming pools when swimmers ignore the necessary precautions, such as showering before entering the pool. Luckily, private pool owners have much more control in preventing such issues from arising. By simply asking guests to shower before entering the pool, you mitigate the risk of transferring bacteria. Still, a clean pool requires constant vigilance. For small children, check their water diapers or give them frequent bathroom breaks to ensure no accidents happen in the pool. Trust us when we say the clean-up process is not fun!
Why Should I Shower After Swimming?
While showering before swimming can reduce the transmission of RWIs, too many swimmers do not always abide by that rule. The Water Quality and Health Council reported that only 44% of Americans will shower before entering the pool. In other words, the pool water is much dirtier than you think. Bacteria from other swimmers’ sweat, tanning lotions, and body matter probably already contaminated the pool. To adequately protect yourself from germs, you can shower right after exiting the swimming pool to rinse away any bacteria.
Unfortunately, bacteria aren’t the only harmful substance lurking beneath in the water. Swimmers also must worry about harmful chlorine levels. Chlorine can cause rashes or irritation to the skin and eyes when allowed to linger on the skin for a prolonged amount of time. Luckily, a quick rinse after a refreshing dip in the swimming pool will wash away any chlorine and chloramines on your skin.
How Does Showering Protect Your Pool?
Body oils and suntan lotion can cause issues with your pool’s filtration system. An excess of oil buildup brings unwanted black gunk, slimy pool walls, and cloudy water. This means a higher cost of cleaning the pool and more expenses in maintaining the proper chemical balance. Not only does showering protect your body, but it is also a simple way to protect and maintain your pool at a lower cost.
Rinsing Off Before Jumping into Your Pool
It is easy to forget to shower before diving right into the pool, but we need to protect one another by following simple steps. As a pool owner, you can demand that your guests take a shower before a swimming session to keep everyone (and your pool) clean and happy. If you need help balancing your pool’s chemicals or have questions about the integrity of your pool water, give Shoreline a call at (203) 357-1544 for professional advice or cleaning services.