CDC study finds many public swimming pools test positive for E. coli

Researchers find 60 percent of water samples taken from public pools tested positive

Published On: May 17 2013 07:57:49 PM CDT
Public pools e coli
BELLAIRE, Texas -

Many neighborhood pools will officially open for summer on Memorial Day, but before you dive in a newly released study by the CDC shows more than half of public pools have dangerous bacteria in the water.

CDC researchers found 60 percent of water samples taken from public pools tested positive for E. coli.

More than half of the samples also contained bacteria that cause a rash and ear infections.

Local 2 checked with the City of Houston to get an idea of what they're doing to keep municipal pools clean as possible.

Jeff Jefferson is Manager of the City of Houston Recreation and Wellness Division.

"Personally I go in about 5:30 a.m. in the morning and by 6, I have readings on all 37 of the City of Houston pools with regards to the chemical balancing," said Jefferson.

Jefferson said even though the city's pools are only open three months out of the year, they're maintained year-round by computerized sensors and test kits that make sure the water is in perfect condition.

"Typically, it might be one, two or maybe three pools and we can get to them, get out to pools, but we can get to those because we're based in what we call regions," said Jefferson. "Those regions will then allow us to test the pools, make the adjustment, so when people come to the water, it's now balanced."

There are things we can all do to keep public pools as clean as possible. Swimmers should shower with soap before getting in the pool and avoid swimming if they have diarrhea.

Remember, chlorine doesn't kill germs instantly, so do not swallow the water.

Researchers said parents of small children should check their child's diaper every 30 to 60 minutes and don't change their diaper poolside where germs can rinse into the water.