HEALTHY LIVING
05/16/2013 02:31 pm ET

Fecal Contamination Found In 58% Of Public Pool Samples, CDC Finds

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There's a lot of grossness going on in public pools.

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that more than half of public pool samples contain E. Coli bacteria -- a sign of fecal contamination. That's right, poop bacteria.

How exactly does this bacteria get in the pool? Well, one way is exactly how you think it does -- when people have a "fecal incident" in the pool. Another common way is when someone enters the pool without showering first, and the bacteria sheds off the body and into the water.

The report is based on 161 water samples taken from metro-Atlanta public pools last summer. Researchers tested the samples for all sorts of bacteria, including E. coli, which was found in 58 percent of the pool water samples, and P. aeruginosa, which was found in 59 percent of the samples.

"Although this study focused on microbial DNA in filters (not on illnesses), these findings indicate the need for swimmers to help prevent introduction of pathogens (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea), aquatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards," the researchers wrote in the report.

Recently, a study from the Water Quality and Health Council found that one in five people say they've relieved themselves in a public pool, Blisstree reported. And seven in 10 people say they don't shower before getting into a public pool.

But is doing so dangerous? Click here to find out.

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