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Thread: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

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    BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    From http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/1 ... -cdc-says/

    "Chlorine and other disinfectants don't kill germs instantly," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDCs Healthy Swimming Program.

    What are the concerns with BBB pools?
    Pete
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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    I saw this on the news too, not too concerned about it. I'd think chemgeek will probably be along in a little bit. More of a concern with public pools and poorly maintained private pools. I'd think those maintained BBB have very little to worry about. If we have an incident we usually shock right away, chlorine doesn't kill instantly but it does do it pretty fast. Probably better then anything else that you'd want to swim in.
    Dan D
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    What's the alternative to chlorine? Is there anything else that will kill germs instantly? These are rhetorical questions.
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    There are lots of things that could instantly kill germs....the problem is it would also burn off your skin. chem geek has addressed this before.

    chlorine-kill-time-t18859.html
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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    the problem is it would also burn off your skin. chem geek has addressed this before.

    chlorine-kill-time-t18859.html
    Which why I said you wouldn't want to swim in it. I'd read that linked post in the past, but couldn't find it right away. It's why I'm not too worried about the CDC report. I think it must be a slow news day and they needed sensational filler.
    Dan D
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    The alternative would be a lazy river pool, with a huge filter system, you only swim in the end where the fresh water is.....
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    UN1017's Avatar
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    I find it very entertaining that they report it like this. They should take samples from lake, pond or stream water where people swim and tell us what's in it. I'd still swim in within reason. Why don't they just say,"swimming in improperly balanced pool water, increases your risk of getting infected." I'm not sure what's worse....the scare tactics the all-knowing government uses or how the media reports it.

    Now that I'm officially obsessed with my water, I think I'm going to test the water at the local aquatic park next time I take the kids.....or maybe I don't want to know
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Quote Originally Posted by UN1017
    There are lots of things that could instantly kill germs....the problem is it would also burn off your skin.
    Bingo!

    There is no perfect solution, but the fact remains that a properly chlorinated pool is effective in reducing the number of living bacterial cysts. UV radiation is good but it will only work on the water that is being exposed to the UV source at the time. Ozone systems are good for this but really only in indoor pools because they don't have the benefit of UV from the sun.

    Still, the safest thing to do is to NOT go swimming. In this day and age though, people expect their cake and to be able to eat it too and this leads to expectations that no matter what endeavor they choose to invest their time in (public pool swimming, flying, bungee jumping, etc.) that there will be absolutely no risk whatsoever to them or anyone else. Of course, we can't have that.

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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Quote Originally Posted by ptbrunet
    From http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/1 ... -cdc-says/

    "Chlorine and other disinfectants don't kill germs instantly," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDCs Healthy Swimming Program.
    I believe that the quote is taken out of context to the article. The article is stating that a high percentage of public pools are in fact unsanitary on the whole. They go on to describe how they get contaminated and what efforts people can take to decrease the contamination.

    Sure makes me glad I have my own pool and can keep up on the water quality and who swims in it!
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    I recall chem geek explaining it in the past, I remember 30 seconds being a magic number, I could be wrong though.

    Note: I will likely never swim in any pool that isn't mine or a BBBers.
    Aaron
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    I'm not going to be to concerned about public pools, I figure I have other higher exposure to poo then that. When working livestock there's all sorts of ways to get exposure to the south end material. Not much you can do when a sick cow slaps you across the face with a caked up tail
    Dan D
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Ahhhh....so that's why they say, "Don't poop in the tub!"
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Since joining this site and learning about proper pool management and the associated chemistry, I am having serious doubts that I will ever swim in a public pool again.
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    First off, always look at the original CDC paper since news organizations often take things out of context. The CDC took 1 liter samples from filters and conducted quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays. This was NOT a test for live or active microorganisms. It was only a test to identify what types of pathogens are introduced into pool water and gives no indication whatsoever as to whether the pool is safe. The report explicitly states:

    qPCR results alone cannot be used to determine whether the detected microbes were viable or infectious or determine the level of swimmer risk; qPCR detects viable microbes as well as those inactivated by disinfection.
    and

    CDC does not recommend testing the water or the filter backwash of treated recreational water venues (e.g., pools and hot tubs/spas) for microbes unless the venue is at least suspected to be associated with a waterborne disease outbreak. Maintaining proper disinfectant level and pH should prevent transmission of chlorine-susceptible pathogens.
    Since qPCR is so sensitive to finding (via amplification) extremely small amounts of DNA, I think that this study was pretty pointless. The study states:

    Detection of a study microbe was defined as a qPCR cycle threshold value <40.
    Each PCR cycle doubles the quantity of the targeted DNA segment and eventually there is enough DNA to bind with dyes so that it will fluoresce and can be quantified. Read this document regarding cycle thresholds where you will see that using < 40 "are weak reactions indicative of minimal amounts of target nucleic acid which could represent an infection state or environmental contamination." They should have at least reported the cycle threshold profile (histogram) for their samples so we could see if any were 30-37 "indicative of moderate amounts of target nucleic acid" or <= 29 "indicative of abundant target nucleic acid in the sample." Some other sources consider 35 or more cycles as weak. Some of this depends on the initial dilution of the sample that is sometimes done to avoid interference, but the CDC study did not indicate dilution so it is possible that just ONE microbe's DNA in the 1-liter backwash sample was enough to count for detection.

    So of course there was fecal matter in the pool, but it doesn't mean that there were significant lapses of hygiene or incidents of diarrhea. All it shows is that even a tiny amount of fecal matter got into the pool and then into the filter and did not get removed from backwashing. The CDC is concerned about the rise in recreational water incidents, especially with the protozoan oocyst Cryptosporidium parvum which is highly chlorine-resistant and is introduced by diarrhea from infected persons. I think they should focus more on making sure that people with intestinal illness (especially with diarrhea) are told not to swim. They seem to be trying to use scare tactics to change behavior, but I think it will just turn off people from swimming in pools and that's not a good thing given the health benefits from swimming.

    As for kill times, I show in the table in this post time for a 3-log reduction (99.9% kill) when the Free Chlorine (FC) level is roughly 10% of the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. Bacteria such as E. coli, at least when in planktonic (free-floating) form, are killed very quickly by chlorine in less than 1.2 minutes. Basically, half are killed every 7 seconds or faster. For public/commercial pools, I'd recommend an FC that was 20% of the CYA level so kill times roughly half those shown in the table.
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Thanks for making the details readable, I'd gone to the original report but didn't understand that PCR cycle. At another location on the CDC site they try to promote swimming as healthy, they don't seem to have a sense of proportion.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    What about viruses and STDs? Does FC protect against them too? If so, how well?
    Pete
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    That same post I linked to in my post above has bacteria, viruses and protozoan oocysts in the table. Yes, chlorine inactivates viruses and some protozoan oocysts except for Cryptosporidium parvum that is inactivated too slowly. Crypto only comes from infected persons and almost always from diarrhea.

    Viruses that are spread through the air and enter the respiratory system are still going to be spread above pools through the air when someone coughs or sneezes nearby just as if you were standing on land near them. For mucous that enters the pool, loose viral material will be inactivated by chlorine in minutes, but larger chunks of mucous could stick together longer so might be passed from person-to-person but eventually either gets broken apart and inactivated or gets circulated to the filter.

    As for STDs, you wouldn't get those from being in a pool unless you were to have sex in the pool with someone carrying an STD. Same with getting pregnant. Though chlorine will oxidize sperm, that won't happen during sex while loose sperm in the water aren't going to survive and "swim" where they would need to for either pregnancy or disease transmission.
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    What about someone with Giardia?
    Pete
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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    where can i ask about the amount of chlorox per 15,000 gal above ground round pool? My CYA tests way too high to use those tabs anymore. thanks so much

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    Re: BBB pools and sanitary conditions - CDC comment

    Read the pool school link in the upper right it will cover the CYA/Chlorine ratio and strengths different types of bleach, also use pool calculator to figure dosing for your pool size
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