There’s poop in that there pool, warns Department of Health

As the weather is warming up and the metro’s school children have been released back into society like a swarm of slightly sticky and somehow even more annoying locusts, swimming pools across OKC are filling up quicker than the men’s room on Taco Tuesday at Night Trips. And probably with the same substances.


OKLAHOMA CITY – As the temperatures continue to rise, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is urging everyone to practice healthy swimming behaviors to prevent germs and sickness from spreading.

Health officials say the average swimmer introduces many dirty items into recreational water including hair, feces, urine, and sweat, as well as skin products such as lotions, cosmetics and soaps.

How many Baby Ruth-resembling objects does it take to close down a metro pool? I guess a lot more than you would think, being that the “average swimmer” contributes to the contamination. But come on, man. Isn’t this threat being blown a little out of proportion? I mean, there are lots of popular public swimming pools, so they can’t be that bad, right?

Germs in the water can lead to illness in both adults and children.

The week prior to Memorial Day, May 21-27, is designated nationally as National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.

Healthy swimming behaviors can prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs) such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. RWIs are caused by swallowing or having contact with germs in contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, fountains, lakes, or rivers. These illnesses can also be caused by inhaling mists or aerosols from contaminated water.

National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week is the third lamest nationwide holiday, right after President’s Day and whatever day in April people who make enough money to pay taxes have to cut the gob’ment a check. But the holiday week is probably more necessary than Christmas and National Pancake Month combined. I forget how gross public pools are. In fact, the last time I was in a public pool I threw up. I don’t know if me tossing my cookies was the cause of Elk City Public Pool’s contamination or the result…

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, skin rash, and wound infections.

Alright, it was probably the pool’s fault. Thankfully, the rest of the KFOR article goes on to list ways to prevent you and your spawns from contributing or falling victim to all of those viruses and icky things. But I don’t think the list is adequate. So here are 5 more ways you can protect yourself from public pool-bred illnesses:

  1. If you’re going to drink the pool water, do it through a straw. You get less fecal matter that way.
  2. Make sure your pool is at least 87% chlorine to maintain cleanliness.
  3. Don’t confuse a pool with a bathtub. It is not the same thing.
  4. Only use Holy Water to top off the pool. Let’s face it. If you’re about to dive into the deep end of a public pool anytime after Memorial Day, you should probably take any help that is offered to you.
  5. Just don’t swim in a public pool. That’s why God invented Slippin Slides.

Hayley once made a slippin slide out of a blue tarp and canola oil.  Hayley was also cheap.  Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek