After a study by the American office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, 80 percent of the inspected public swimming pools and other water facilities failed their health checks.
One can only then imagine what it would be like, in African countries.
As such, the CDC is encouraging swimmers (or parents of young swimmers) to protect their health and safety with the following checklist:
1. Buy a pH test strip at a lab supplies store like Finlab, a supermarket, pool supply store, or even a hardware store.
2. Before using any public water facility, check the water for its pH level, chlorine and bromine. A healthy pool should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8. Chlorine should be at least 1 part per million in regular pool water and at least 3 ppm in a hot tub. Bromine should be at least 3 ppm, and at least 4 ppm in a hot tub.
3. The drain at the bottom of the deep end of the pool should be visible. It does not only reflect the clarity of the water but also allows lifeguards to see swimmers underwater.
4. A lifeguard or at least safety equipment like a rescue ring with a rope or pole should be available near the pool.
5. Underwater drain covers should be secured and not broken since swimmers can get trapped in those.
Swimming or spending time in the water is one of the healthiest activities for children and adults. However, given the information provided by the CDC, spending time in a public swimming pool, a hot tub, or a water park can mean taking a health risk.