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  1. #1
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    Public Pool making me sick?

    I work at a daycare part time this summer. This week Wednesday we took the kids to a public pool and I spent over an hour in the pool. The next day I woke up with an extremely soar throat, Headache, runny nose and overall body aches. I am now on day 3 with no drugs even touching the symptoms.

    2 weeks ago I had the same symptoms and we had gone to the pool 2 days before as well. I spent about the same time in the pool and was sick for around a week. I thought it was just a summer cold then, but now with the repeat I am wondering if it is something different.

    Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I looked up some random stuff online and it looks like if chlorine levels are too high it can cause sinus issues.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    People who use our therapy pool occasionally complain of similar things. Doesn't surprise me if it was bugging you.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    I guess swimming in urine will do that to you.
    Actually, it might be the chlorine levels.


    When Prepared, Fear No One.

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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Usually I am a pretty healthy person. I rarely get the flu, and occasionally a cold in the winter, but this has blindsided me.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclonedave25 View Post
    I guess swimming in urine will do that to you.
    Actually, it might be the chlorine levels.
    Actually its a combination of the two. The ammonia in urine mixed with the chlorinated water results in chlorine gas being released from the water. You will notice the ill effects much worse in an indoor pool than outdoor pools because the gas cannot easily escape into the atmosphere.


    Last edited by ISUAgronomist; 07-16-2010 at 07:09 PM.


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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by isuaggie View Post
    Actually its a combination of the two. The ammonia in urine mixed with the chlorinated water results in chlorine gas being released from the water. You will notice the ill effects much worse in an indoor pool than outdoor pools because the gas cannot easily escape into the atmosphere.
    Not only those two, but also sweat.
    Chlorine Can React With Sweat, Urine At Indoor Swimming Pools Forming Volatile Disinfection Byproducts


    When Prepared, Fear No One.

  7. #7
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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer View Post
    I work at a daycare part time this summer. This week Wednesday we took the kids to a public pool and I spent over an hour in the pool. The next day I woke up with an extremely soar throat, Headache, runny nose and overall body aches. I am now on day 3 with no drugs even touching the symptoms.

    2 weeks ago I had the same symptoms and we had gone to the pool 2 days before as well. I spent about the same time in the pool and was sick for around a week. I thought it was just a summer cold then, but now with the repeat I am wondering if it is something different.

    Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I looked up some random stuff online and it looks like if chlorine levels are too high it can cause sinus issues.
    Most public pools and motel pools are kept at an excessively high chlorine level because of anticipated overloading of people swimming. When you see a cloudy motel pool, it's normally because the algae bloom is ready to appear next, so stay out of the pool. They need to shock the pool water. All pool water should sparkle in the sunlight or overhead lights, otherwise the water quality is going south, it should never look dull. When a pool sours or gets cloudy, lots of things growing in the water are bad for your health.

    Lots of motel and hotel pools are subject to poor pool hygiene because of improperly trained workers or sloppy use of pool chemicals.
    Motel spas are generally bad for you, never clean water.
    I know I sound like doom and gloom about public used pools but you already have experienced the consequences.

    I know pools, I've owned a pool for 25 yrs and sold pool chemicals for yrs.


    Last edited by majorcyfan; 07-16-2010 at 07:43 PM.
    U of OWA ... HOME OF THE FERENTZ "LOW RENT" GRADUATES OF THE SCHOOL OF MORAL TURPITUDE ....THE LEADING UNIVERSITY of SELECTIVE ETHICS......PROUD TO BE ETHICS-FREE, INTEGRITY-FREE .
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  8. #8
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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by majorcyfan View Post
    Most public pools and motel pools are kept at an excessively high chlorine level because of anticipated overloading of people swimming. When you see a cloudy motel pool, it's normally because the algae bloom is ready to appear next, so stay out of the pool. They need to shock the pool water. All pool water should sparkle in the sunlight or overhead lights, otherwise the water quality is going south, it sould never look dull. When a pool sours or gets cloudy, lots of things growing in the water are bad for your health.


    Motel spas are generally bad for you, never clean water.

    I know pools, I've owned a pool for 25 yrs and sold pool chemicals for yrs.
    The water looked pretty clear, but it burnt the hell out of my eyes, and I didn't even open them underwater. My family actually has an above ground pool and has for many years, and I have never experienced this.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Once I got a really weird eye infection and the eye doctor told me it was probably from the water in the hotel spa I had just visited.



  10. #10
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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer View Post
    The water looked pretty clear, but it burnt the hell out of my eyes, and I didn't even open them underwater. My family actually has an above ground pool and has for many years, and I have never experienced this.
    You should never really smell the chlorine in a properly maintained pool, what you smelled was chloramines,.....the nasty chlorine byproducts of dirty water.....The solution...Shock it with more chlorine to destroy the chloramines



    Chloramines: Understanding “Pool Smell”

    July 2006
    Introduction
    A whiff of pool water - often described as the smell of chlorine -can stir happy thoughts of summer. If strong enough, however, "pool smell" can signify a source of irritation to the eyes, lungs and skin of swimmers.
    Pool smell is due, not to chlorine, but to chloramines, chemical compounds that build up in pool water when it is improperly treated.
    Chloramines result from the combination of two ingredients: (a) chlorine disinfectants and (b) perspiration, oils and urine that enter pools on the bodies of swimmers. Chlorine disinfectants are added to pool water to destroy germs that can give swimmers diarrhea, ear aches and athlete's foot. Perspiration, oils and urine, however, are unwanted additions to pool water. By showering before entering the pool, and washing these substances from the skin, swimmers can help minimize pool smell.
    The Chemistry of Pool Smell
    When chlorine disinfectants are added to water, two chemicals are unleashed that destroy waterborne germs: hypochlorous acid, HOCl, and hypochlorite ion, OCl-. A measure of the chlorine in these two chemicals is known as "free available chlorine" or FAC. Pool operators manage the FAC level of pool water for the safety of swimmers. Their challenge comes from the fact that FAC is reduced when it reacts with perspiration, oils and urine from swimmers to form chloramines.

    One way that chloramines are formed in pool water is by the reaction of hypochlorous acid with ammonia. Ammonia, NH3, is a component of sweat and urine. Its chemical structure is illustrated in the figure at the right.




    There are three chemical reactions that can occur when hypochlorous acid reacts with ammonia, each involving the replacement of hydrogen ions with chlorine ions. When one of ammonia's hydrogen ions is replaced with chlorine, monochloramine is formed:
    HOCl + NH3 → NH2Cl + H2O

    Three hydrogen ions are found at the corners of the base of this pyramid-shaped molecule, with nitrogen at the top.


    Replacing one more hydrogen ion with chlorine produces dichloramine,
    HOCl + NH2Cl → NHCl2 + H2O
    Finally, it is possible to replace all three of ammonia's hydrogen ions with chlorine to form trichloramine, also known as nitrogen trichloride:
    HOCl + NHCl2 → NCl3 + H2O.
    Monochloramine is sometimes intentionally added to water because it is actually a useful disinfectant. Drinking water, for example, is sometimes purified with monochloramine. Dichloramine and especially trichloramine are the chloramines most responsible for pool smell. By showering before entering the pool, swimmers can minimize the formation of these two chloramines.

    Managing Chlorine in the Pool

    What is a Part Per Million?

    A part per million (ppm) refers to "one in a million". It is equivalent to
    • One drop of dye in 18 gallons of water
    • One second in 12 days
    • One penny out of $10,000
    As hypochlorous acid combines with ammonia to form chloramines, the FAC of pool water is reduced. Lowering the FAC reduces the ability of chlorine to destroy germs. The amount of chlorine that is "tied up" in chloramine compounds, and is therefore unavailable as free chlorine, is known as combined available chlorine (CAC). The sum of FAC and CAC is the total chlorine (TC).
    TC = FAC + CAC
    The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals suggests FAC concentrations in pool water should remain in the range 1.0 - NC 4.0 parts per million for chlorine to work effectively (FAC should never fall below 1 part per million). CAC levels should be less than 0.2 parts per million.
    Pool managers can use test kits to measure both FAC and TC. CAC is then simply calculated:
    CAC = TC - FAC
    Minimizing Pool Smell
    Swimmers with reddened, irritated eyes have been known to complain that "there is too much chlorine in the pool". In fact, however, when pool water is irritating, there is not enough chlorine in swimming pool water!
    You may be surprised to learn that there is no odor to a well-managed pool. Chloramines, which produce pool smell, can be eliminated using chlorine. "Shock treatment" or "superchlorination" is the practice of adding extra chlorine to pools to destroy ammonia and the organic compounds that combine with chlorine to make chloramines. To effectively destroy chloramines through shock treatment, the pool water FAC concentration must be about ten times the CAC.
    Pool Rules
    Properly disinfected pool water is a must for the health and safety of swimmers. Pool managers have the responsibility to adjust the pool water chemistry to reduce the risk of infection for swimmers. But you can use your senses to help you determine whether a pool is safe for swimming.
    The "SENSE-ABLE" Swimming Check List USE YOUR SENSE OF SIGHT. Does the pool water look clear and blue? You should be able to see through the water down to the drain or stripes painted on the floor of the pool. If the water is cloudy and colored, there may be algae in it. DON'T GO IN!
    USE YOUR SENSE OF TOUCH. Does the pool wall around the water line feel slimy? If it does, there are probably germs living on the wall. DON'T GO IN!

    USE YOUR SENSE OF SMELL Is there a strong chemical odor around the pool? If there is, the pool manager may have to treat the water. DON'T GO IN! USE YOUR SENSE OF HEARING.The sound of pool-cleaning equipment is a good sign! DON'T USE YOUR SENSE OF TASTE. Just don't taste the water! If you do get some water in your mouth, don't swallow it. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. Shower before entering the pool to remove the substances that can help form chloramines. Encourage young children to take regular bathroom breaks, and never go swimming when you have diarrhea.Follow-up Activities:
    • In the chemical reactions that produce chloramines, what happens to the hydrogen ions that are being replaced with chlorine?
    • Explain why pool managers must test the chemistry of the pool water once every hour on hot summer days.
    • Pete's dad uses his pool test kit and measures a FAC of 2.5 ppm and a TC of 3.0 ppm. Should Pete and his buddies go swimming in the pool?
    For a list of previous "Chlorine Compound of the Month" features, click here.


    Last edited by majorcyfan; 07-16-2010 at 07:55 PM.
    U of OWA ... HOME OF THE FERENTZ "LOW RENT" GRADUATES OF THE SCHOOL OF MORAL TURPITUDE ....THE LEADING UNIVERSITY of SELECTIVE ETHICS......PROUD TO BE ETHICS-FREE, INTEGRITY-FREE .
    NO INTEGRITY, NO "I" IN OWA
    CAN YOU TELL I LOVE THE U OF OWA

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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone1975 View Post
    Once I got a really weird eye infection and the eye doctor told me it was probably from the water in the hotel spa I had just visited.
    You should never put your head under water in a spa, LOL what were you diving for?


    U of OWA ... HOME OF THE FERENTZ "LOW RENT" GRADUATES OF THE SCHOOL OF MORAL TURPITUDE ....THE LEADING UNIVERSITY of SELECTIVE ETHICS......PROUD TO BE ETHICS-FREE, INTEGRITY-FREE .
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    CAN YOU TELL I LOVE THE U OF OWA

  12. #12
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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by majorcyfan View Post
    Most public pools and motel pools are kept at an excessively high chlorine level because of anticipated overloading of people swimming. When you see a cloudy motel pool, it's normally because the algae bloom is ready to appear next, so stay out of the pool. They need to shock the pool water. All pool water should sparkle in the sunlight or overhead lights, otherwise the water quality is going south, it should never look dull. When a pool sours or gets cloudy, lots of things growing in the water are bad for your health.

    Lots of motel and hotel pools are subject to poor pool hygiene because of improperly trained workers or sloppy use of pool chemicals.
    Motel spas are generally bad for you, never clean water.
    I know I sound like doom and gloom about public used pools but you already have experienced the consequences.

    I know pools, I've owned a pool for 25 yrs and sold pool chemicals for yrs.
    From what I understand, don't hotel pools have to have a log of multiple pH tests of their pool throughout the course of the day, and be subject to surprise visits from inspectors? I have a friend who used to be the manager or a local hotel, and that was how they had to run things. Obviously not all hotels comply, but I know this is at least how it was a few years ago.


    M 7/09

  13. #13
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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    The nasty pools are the saline ones. It just feels gross to swim in them. Its like you are swimming sweat.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Some pools now are being sanitized with UV light. Hopefully that will be the way of the future of indoor pools.



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    Re: Public Pool making me sick?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer View Post
    The water looked pretty clear, but it burnt the hell out of my eyes, and I didn't even open them underwater. My family actually has an above ground pool and has for many years, and I have never experienced this.
    that means there was too much chlorine in the pool. a lot of hotel pools are like but most public pools ive been too dont bother my eyes much



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