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Thread: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

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    Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Hello! First off, I really appreciate this forum and everyone who contributes such helpful information. I've been reading up on things and checking out Pool School etc in preparation for setting up our above ground pool.

    Background: I hadn't planned on being a pool owner but it became apparent that every time we take my son to a public pool, he gets sick w vomiting and essentially sleeps the whole day after exposure. At first I thought he was catching bugs from water but since it happened every time I believe it is from the chemicals. With this in mind, I was concerned he wouldn't be able to learn to swim unless at the ocean, which isn't frequent for us. Swimming is a critical life skill so we want him to learn asap. When I saw above ground pools were so affordable, we decided we would take one on so that he can learn to swim and we can enjoy it also.

    My question: Is a SWG going to help more than it hurts since the chlorine and CyA levels are higher than in a standard chlorine treated pool? I havent set the pool up yet and can use the 1000 gph pump that came with the pool and return the sand pump w SWG. My options are still open and I'd love to get your insight on how to keep my pool and son healthy.
    (We will also start him off w very short exposures and wash off right after).

    Thank you!
    6000 gallon AG, Intex Sand Filter and SWG 2250 gph

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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Welcome to the forum. First a SWCG produces chlorine. I get sick in ocean water. And to lesser extent pools that use SWCG. Has he been in the ocean? I don't trust public pools sanitation. I use testing methods on this site and love our pool
    15x54 swim & play vinyl metal wall AG
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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Welcome to TFP

    I would guess also that illness is more likely due to poor pool sanitation or poor sanitation in bathroom and changing areas of public pools (I can't stand the changing area where my daughter practices for her school swim team just yuk) unless chemical sensativity for your son is a known issue.

    With a proper test kit, you can keep a sanitary pool, likely with less chemicals than a large public pool. Whether to use a SWG or not is personal preference. I have one and like it. Keep in mind however as stated previously, this is still chlorine. The SWG uses the salt in the water to create chlorine when water is being pumped through it for varying percentages of time.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Hi, welcome to TFP! The SWG uses lower levels of chlorine than manual chlorination. The CYA is kept higher to help prevent UV burnoff of the lower levels of chlorine. What probably bothers your son is the CC level which gives off the strong chlorine odor associated with pools. This is the by product of Chlorine oxidation and tends to be high in public or poorly maintained pools. I strongly recommend you get a good quality test kit so that you have access to accurate testing without having to rely on a test strip or pool store. The TF 50 from TF testkits has all the tests you need to do keep your pool sanitary and balanced. You will want to keep an eye on CC levels and only let him swim if they are .5 or less.

    If you want you can wait to start the SWG until you see how your son reacts to the pool, but the sand filter will do a much better job clearing debris than the cartridge filter will. Having him shower immediately after swimming can also help him to not feel sick after swimming. I don't know how old your son is, but make sure he's not swallowing a bunch of pool water while he is in the pool. I did that once as a little kid and it made me very sick the rest of the day. If he is old enough to understand tell him it is not a good idea and make sure there is plenty of drinking water near by. I know some folks tie pool noodles around a plastic tub and use it as a floating cooler to ice down water and other beverages.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have and enjoy your new pool!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Before setting up the pool, perhaps you should make sure your son is not allergic to the standard chemicals you will use when maintaining a backyard pool. It would be a shame to invest all that time and effort to find that you cannot use it. Try finding someone with a private pool that's maintained properly and see if he tolerates that. Or you could add the proper chemicals to a bath and check for reactions.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Pre-setup testing in the bath is a brilliant idea- thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Davejavu View Post
    Before setting up the pool, perhaps you should make sure your son is not allergic to the standard chemicals you will use when maintaining a backyard pool. It would be a shame to invest all that time and effort to find that you cannot use it. Try finding someone with a private pool that's maintained properly and see if he tolerates that. Or you could add the proper chemicals to a bath and check for reactions.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you zea3! I will get the test kit and I think you're right. The public pools likely have a LOT of different things in them, one or more is incompatible with his system. He's 3.5 yrs old so only swallowing once or twice per session accidentally. I think we'll keep the sand filter/swg to lower maintenance demands on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Hi, welcome to TFP! The SWG uses lower levels of chlorine than manual chlorination. The CYA is kept higher to help prevent UV burnoff of the lower levels of chlorine. What probably bothers your son is the CC level which gives off the strong chlorine odor associated with pools. This is the by product of Chlorine oxidation and tends to be high in public or poorly maintained pools. I strongly recommend you get a good quality test kit so that you have access to accurate testing without having to rely on a test strip or pool store. The TF 50 from TF testkits has all the tests you need to do keep your pool sanitary and balanced. You will want to keep an eye on CC levels and only let him swim if they are .5 or less.

    If you want you can wait to start the SWG until you see how your son reacts to the pool, but the sand filter will do a much better job clearing debris than the cartridge filter will. Having him shower immediately after swimming can also help him to not feel sick after swimming. I don't know how old your son is, but make sure he's not swallowing a bunch of pool water while he is in the pool. I did that once as a little kid and it made me very sick the rest of the day. If he is old enough to understand tell him it is not a good idea and make sure there is plenty of drinking water near by. I know some folks tie pool noodles around a plastic tub and use it as a floating cooler to ice down water and other beverages.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have and enjoy your new pool!
    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by banditig View Post
    Welcome to the forum. First a SWCG produces chlorine. I get sick in ocean water. And to lesser extent pools that use SWCG. Has he been in the ocean? I don't trust public pools sanitation. I use testing methods on this site and love our pool
    Thanks Banditig, very interesting! He's only been in the ocean briefly a few times. Yes, I think it's a matter of the sanitation level of public pools. Some pools he's had faster and more violent reactions to than others. I expect when I'm maintaining it we'll have better results.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you AimeeH!
    Yes, I'm looking forward to having safe clean water. Who knows what's in the big public pools.


    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    Welcome to TFP

    I would guess also that illness is more likely due to poor pool sanitation or poor sanitation in bathroom and changing areas of public pools (I can't stand the changing area where my daughter practices for her school swim team just yuk) unless chemical sensativity for your son is a known issue.

    With a proper test kit, you can keep a sanitary pool, likely with less chemicals than a large public pool. Whether to use a SWG or not is personal preference. I have one and like it. Keep in mind however as stated previously, this is still chlorine. The SWG uses the salt in the water to create chlorine when water is being pumped through it for varying percentages of time.
    6000 gallon AG, Intex Sand Filter and SWG 2250 gph

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Best Treatment Solution when literally sick from public pools?

    Something else to consider is motion sickness. My wife can ride any ride at the amusement park with no problem, but a few minutes on a float in a pool or even snorkeling will make her miserable for hours. Even laying on the deck of a boat bothers her. As long as she is upright, she is fine.
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