CDC study: Many public pools have fecal bacteria in water

More than half of public pools contaminated

INDIANAPOLIS - A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study raises questions about the safety of public swimming pools.

The study found that 58 percent of public pools contain the E.coli bacterium, meaning more than half of public pools are contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Indianapolis city pools are aware of the E. coli issues and are vigilant about testing the water.

"We have hourly testing by management staff of the water poolside," said Maureen Faul, a spokeswoman for Indy Parks. "We have weekly testing of water that we send out to an independent lab. We also work closely with the Marion County Health Department."

Chlorine and other disinfectants don't kill germs instantly, but it takes less than a minute for the E. coli bacterium to become inactive in chlorinated water. 

The health department provides signs that can be posted at pools to provide guidance to parents and their children.

At the top of the list, it says anyone who has had diarrhea in the past two weeks shall not use the pool.

If that doesn't disqualify your child the health department has these suggestions for parents.

"Make sure that their child takes frequent bathroom breaks. Make sure they shower their child before they use the pool," said Pam Thevenow, with the Marion County Health Department. "The goal here is to make sure we don't carry poop, pee, germs or sweat into a pool and make that an unsafe environment."

Ten city pools open their doors Saturday, and the remaining city pools open June 8.
 

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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