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What do I do if someone poops in the pool?

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What do I do if someone poops in the pool?

The 5 most dreaded words of every pool owner, “someone pooped in the pool”!!!!! It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you need a plan. We have put together a quick reference guide to help you know what to do if you do find poop in the pool.

Why is it necessary to close and disinfect the pool?

Let’s start with the why. Why is it necessary to close and disinfect the pool? Isn’t that what chlorine is for? It is true that the chlorine disinfects, but the normal level of chlorine won’t cut it. All fecal material contains bacteria that cause Recreational Water Illnesses or RWIs. Bacteria like E Coli, Hepatitis A, Giardia and Crypto parasite can all be transferred to the water when there is poop present. These types of bacteria take several days to disinfect without elevated chlorine levels.

pool

Is all pooped handled the same?

Studies show that there is a difference in the bacteria continents of formed poop as opposed to diarrhea. The chances of Crypto parasite being found in a formed stool are very unlikely. While, it is much more likely that it could be found in diarrhea. Because of this there are two different procedures for handling formed stools and diarrhea stools.

If you find formed poop you should:

  • Close the pool to swimmers. Don’t allow anyone into the pool until things have been fully disinfected.
  • Remove the fecal material. Using a bucket or a net. Dispose of the fecal material in a sanitary way. Be sure to disinfect whatever you used to remove the poop.

Do not attempt to vacuum the stool from the pool.

  • Chlorine based disinfectant must be used even if you usually use bromine to disinfect. Raise the chlorine level to 2 parts per million. The PH level needs to be 7.5 or less and the temperature of the pool needs to be 77 degrees or above. With this combination, you will be able to reopen your pool in approximately 30 minutes. If these minimum requirements are not met, keep the pool closed for a longer time period according to how far off it is.
  • Keep your filtration system running during the disinfection process.

If you find diarrhea you should:

  • Close the pool to swimmers. Don’t allow anyone into the pool until things have been fully disinfected.
  • Remove the fecal material. Using a bucket or a net. Dispose of the fecal material in a sanitary way. Be sure to disinfect whatever you used to remove the poop.

Do not attempt to vacuum the stool from the pool.

  • Chlorine based disinfectant must be used, even if you usually use bromine to disinfect. Raise the chlorine level to 20 parts per million. The ph level must be maintained at 7.5 or less and the temperature of the pool needs to be 77 degrees or above. These levels need to be maintained for a minimum of 13 hours to be sure that 99.9% of the Crypto is killed. If these minimum requirements are not maintained it will take well over 24 hours to be sure that the Crypto has been inactivated.
  • Keep your filtration system running during the disinfection process.
  • Once the disinfection is complete, replace the cartridge or backwash the filter directly to waste. Do not return the backwash through the filter.
  • Do not allow anyone back into the pool until disinfection is complete AND until the chlorine and PH levels have returned to normal.

 

Of course, you hope you will never need this information. It is a good idea to keep it on hand, just in case. As a pool owner, you also want to make sure that you have a good supply of chemicals on hand, so you are fully prepared if find yourself saying “someone pooped in the pool”.

Come see us today and stock up on all of the BioGuard®  chemicals that you need!

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