The Fairfield County Health Department (FDH) wants to be sure that all our residents enjoy swimming fun and stay healthy by understanding how recreational water diseases are caused and how to prevent them from making people sick. These diseases are caused by germs that can contaminate water in pools, lakes and oceans. The most common illness is diarrhea caused by germs like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella and E.coli. A person with diarrhea can contaminate a swimming pool. If swimmers swallow the contaminated water, they may become ill.
Public pools, spas and special use pools are required to maintain certain levels of disinfectants in the water, such as chlorine or bromine that destroy disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites. Some parasites, like “Cryptosporidium”, can live in a pool for days. "Remember it is everyone’s responsibility to help insure a safe swimming experience, so if you are ill please don't swim,” says Fairfield County Health Department Environmental Director.
To keep your water experience as safe as possible, please follow the following health tips:
- Do not swim when you have diarrhea.
This is really important especially for children in diapers.
- Do not swallow pool water; keep your mouth closed while in the water
- Do practice good hygiene; take a shower before swimming.
Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing a diaper.
For more information about recreational water illnesses, please log on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.healthyswimming.org