Keeping pool water clean is a community effort - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keeping pool water clean is a community effort

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With warm temperatures and sunshine, area pools could see a lot of activity this week.

And health officials warn that means germs, too.

The Illinois Department of Public Health asks parents to keep an eye on their kids hygiene around the water.

Quincy Park District's Recreation Supervisor Mark Callaway says unclean water can be more than just a health hazard.

"We want it to look clear and visible so that we can see our swimmers as they're in the water," said Callaway. "Obviously we have to be able to see them in order to save them if they go under so cleanliness and visibility are one of the main things."

Callaway says the Park District's pools combat any problems with chemicals and frequent deep cleanings, but heath officials say it's very important to shower before you get in the pool and to make sure your child is taking bathroom breaks often.

Adam's County Health Department's Environmental Sanitarian Rex Pflantz says people can get sick if they swallow contaminated water

He says the contamination usually comes from human fecal matter.

"When we get into the water, the water cleanses us, the pathogens actually float out in the water and then when we get our mouth underneath the water, we have the opportunity to have some on our mouth," said Pflantz.

If contaminated water gets into your system you can get E. coli or Cryptosporidium, both of which can cause stomach problems.

And while Pflantz says that Chlorine does a great job at clearing up E. coli, it doesn't do as good of a job with the parasites like Cryptosporidium.

Callaway says if everyone does their part, the community can have a lot more clean fun.

He asks that parents take their kids out of the pool for frequent bathroom breaks and bathe before making a splash.

He says the benefits of doing so are two-fold.

"It's good to get out of the water for a while to save your energy and just to kind of then recoop," said Callaway. "It also then allows our pool to stay free of the germs and toxins that come with children or adults going to the bathroom in the pool."

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