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Each Year, Thousands of People Get Sick After Being in a Pool, Waterpark, Hot Tub or Public Sprinklers – Why?

by The Beasley Firm  |  July 11, 2011  |  

In the United States each year, over 10,000 people get sick due to infections after visiting waterparks. That statistic does not include people who are infected or get sick after being in pools, spas, hot tubs or public sprinklers. Infections after being in water or Recreational Water-Related Illness (RWI) are a well known public health issue…or are they?

When one pays to be in a waterpark, hotel, motel, resort pool or other water-related recreation facility, they trust that the water they are having fun in is safe. Many times, unaware to the visitors, it is not.

Water frequently becomes contaminated with fecal material, or people entering the water with infections or open wounds. If the water quality is not properly monitored and/or treated, it puts thousands of people at risk for an infection. In addition, public sprinklers are not treated with chlorine and can become a breading ground for infections.

I remember years ago, as a small child, our swim club not only made female swimmers wear bathing caps, but no one was allowed to enter the pool unless they showered. That hygienic practice has seemed to disappear or is not enforced as much anymore. As a child, I thought that rule was crazy. Why did I have to shower before I went swimming in the pool? The pool would get me clean. Little did I know then that it was not about me; it was about keeping the water clean and safe for others.

If the water you or a loved one was swimming in, relaxing in, or having fun in, was contaminated with a bacterium, virus, parasite or fungus, it may have caused an infection or even death. The most frequent water sicknesses are caused by Cryptosporidium or Crypto, E. Coli, Giardia, Shigella, norvirus, cholera, or Legionnaire’s. In just the past year, many became ill with Legionnaire’s Disease after relaxing in a hot tub at the Playboy mansion.

Water-related illnesses can cause pneumonia, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, weight loss, bloating, dehydration, shock or even death. Parasite infections can lead to skin blisters, swollen lymph nodes, liver problems and destruction of eye tissues leading to blindness.

Anyone that offers water-related activities must make sure that the water they are providing is free from bacteria, parasites, fungus, and other infections. They have an obligation to properly treat infected water, warn you of the dangers of the water, or clear the water until it is safe.

As a current pool owner and past Board of Directors President of a swim club, I am well aware of all of the Board of Health regulations and what must be done to keep water free from infections or clear the pool if it is not safe to swim in due to contamination.

If you or a loved one has suffered from an infection, dehydration, sickness, pneumonia, sepsis or death after being at a waterpark, pool, spa or fountain, we can help you. Our medical, legal, and real swimming pool infection control knowledge is where you want to turn to for answers. Our Philadelphia experienced pool injury lawyers have had over billions awarded on behalf of our injured clients. Please feel free to call us for a no risk, free and confidential consultation with one of our water experts.

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