Swimming in an unfamiliar pool that you’re not personally responsible for taking care of can be risky. Why you can’t see germs, you can use your senses to recognize the difference between a healthy swimming pool and one that might make you or your family sick.

  • Sight: Look for water that’s clean, clear and blue – free from algae and unclouded. From the perimeter of the pool, you should be able to clearly see the drain or painted stripes on the pool floor. Also, look for drainage grills at the top of pool walls. Water should be constantly lapping over the grills to be filtered.
  • Touch: Check for tiles that feel smooth and clean. Sticky or slippery tiles are caused by algae and other unwanted organisms. A hand full or scoop of water should disperse quickly and not stick to your hands.
  • Smell: Chlorine helps keep pools healthy, and will not cause a strong chemical odor in a well-maintained, healthy swimming pool. Strong chemical odors, as well as skin, eye or respiratory irritation, are caused by the high levels of chloramines, formed when chlorine combines with contaminants brought into pools by swimmers.
  • Sound: Listen for pool cleaning equipment. Properly operating pumps help make sure that clean, chlorinated water reaches all parts of the pool, while filters physically remove debris.

Information courtesy of healthy poolpools.org

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