๐Ÿ’ฉ Oh Crap, Someone Pooped In The Pool!

Code Brown!!!

Sh*t happens, right? A fecal incident can occur from someone being ill, a child not wanting to get out because they are having too much fun, or even a leaky swim diaper. It’s important to understand that there are illnesses associated with human feces that can be transmitted from person to person in pool water. You cannot just scoop it out and swim on!

Although there are a good many disease-causing organisms that chlorine will destroy reasonably quickly, there are a few that will be more of a challenge and take a bit of time to inactivate. These tough-to-kill poop protozoan, cryptosporidium sp. and/or Giardia, can take anywhere from hours to days to kill at the chlorine levels we typically maintain in swimming pools.

 

This is part of the reason you hear about crypto in the news so often as a borderline to a full-blown epidemic. This protozoa, which is contracted by the fecal-oral route, can survive in your pool for 255 hours at a chlorine level of 1 ppm. This means that anyone who gets water in their mouth 10 1/2 days following a diarrheal discharge could become seriously ill, risking severe dehydration, if the incident is not handled correctly. Can you imagine how many people accidentally get water in their mouths at a Wave Pool?

So What do you do when it’s Poo?

Solid Stool: Disease Threat Giardia

  1. Close pool. Scoop the poop (never vacuum).
  2. Dispose of in accordance with the instruction from your local sanitation department. Most likely they will tell you to flush it or bag and toss into a waste receptacle.
  3. Toss your Poop scooping equipment into the pool (must go through the same process as the water to sanitize correctly).
  4. Raise your chlorine level to 2ppm or higher. Maintain at that level for a period of 25 minutes with a pH of 7.5 or lower.
  5. Re-open pool.
Giardia CDC Dr. Stan Erlandsen

Diarrheal Incident: Disease Threat Cryptosporidium

  1. Close pool. Scoop the poop (never vacuum).
  2. Dispose of in accordance with the instruction from your local sanitation department. Most likely they will tell you to flush it or bag and toss into a waste receptacle.
  3. Toss your Poop scooping equipment into the pool (must go through the same process as the water to sanitize correctly).
  4. Raise your chlorine level to 20ppm or higher. Maintain at that level for a period of 12.75 hours with a pH of 7.5 or lower.
  5. Backwash/Clean filter to waste.
  6. Lower Chlorine level to an acceptable range. The EPA/CDC recommended maximum chlorine level is 4ppm.
  7. Re-open pool.
Cryptosporidium sp. CDC J Infect Dis. 1983 May

*** Lowering the Stabilizer level to <15ppm is now required in pools using Cyanuric Acid before you may begin treatment of a Diarrheal Incident. In the presence of a level of Cyanuric Acid from 1ppm – 15ppm, You must maintain a chlorine level of 20ppm for 28 hours with a ph <7.5 in addition to the procedures listed above.
– per CDC Fecal Incident Response Recommendations

Click photo for CDC Fecal Incident Response Recommendations

Similar article: Donโ€™t Drink The Butt Water!


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13 thoughts on “๐Ÿ’ฉ Oh Crap, Someone Pooped In The Pool!”

  1. Yikes!! I’ve always fantasized about one day having a pool in the backyard. This is my reality call LOL. You don’t even think about all the not so pretty stuff like POOP clean up. Debating if I need that pool after all LOL

  2. Wow, this is so great to know. I many times don’t feel safe because you never know who has done what at the pool.

  3. Hey Rudy, I hope you’re well.
    I’m mind blown. Hahaha! First of all, it’s weird when someone decides to poop in the pool. That’s just rude (and effin’ gross). There should be a sign saying that ‘No Pooping Allowed’ or something like that. But I know there will be a time when sh*t will happen, literally. These are helpful tips and I’m doubting now whether to go swim in our public pools.

  4. My oldest kiddo is a lifeguard, I’m certain he’s ran into this at least a handful of times. This was equal parts humorous and informative- thanks for the laughs and insight!

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