Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

June 2019


Survey: Half of Americans Use the Pool as a 'Communal Bathtub'

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

NFL Foundation Helps to Advance Youth Wellness - June 2019

Youth Sports Participation Holds Steady in 2018 - June 2019

Dog Parks Still on the Rise - May 2019

USA Swimming Grants Will Boost Learn-to-Swim Programs - May 2019

IHRSA: One in Five Americans Belong to at Least One Health Club - May 2019

New Program Aims to Grow Pickleball & Tennis - May 2019

IHRSA Reports on Health Club Compensation - April 2019

Grant Funding Brings Parks Closer to People in 10 Cities - April 2019

Note & Float Program Reaches Lifesaving Milestone - April 2019

Fund Established to Assist Aspiring Women Coaches - April 2019

Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program - April 2019

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants - March 2019

Smarter Lifeguard Management - March 2019

U.S. Soccer Foundation Aims to Boost Female Participation - March 2019

In Oregon, Outdoor Recreation Saves $1.4 Billion in Healthcare Costs - March 2019

Survey: Communities Should Support Pollinators - February 2019

NSPF, APSP Unite to Form Pool & Hot Tub Alliance - February 2019

Guide Aims to Help Gyms Implement Diabetes Prevention - February 2019

Senior Living Continues Shift Toward Wellness - February 2019

Partnership Aims to Expand Play Opportunities - January 2019

Grant Funds Help Educate Pool Operators - January 2019

NFL Foundation Grants Boost Local Football Fields - January 2019

Leaders Recognized for Advancing Outdoor Recreation - January 2019

Goldfish Swim School Sponsors USA Swimming Foundation - December 2018

Physical Activity for Kids Gets Low Grade - December 2018

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes - December 2018

Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy - November 2018

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded - November 2018

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club - November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment - November 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations - October 2018

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area - October 2018

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health - October 2018

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives - October 2018

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play - October 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers - September 2018

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults - September 2018

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption - September 2018

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018 - September 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports - August 2018

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety - August 2018

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation - August 2018

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors - August 2018

ACSM & Wellcoaches Expand Offerings for Fitness Pros - July 2018

Grants Help Local Trail Projects - July 2018

Grant to Boost Meals & Nutrition for Kids - July 2018

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkServe Database - July 2018

CPSC Asks for Vigilance to Prevent Child Drowning - July 2018

TPL Earns NEA Grant to Explore Creative Placemaking - June 2018

High Visa Denial Rates Could Affect Pools - June 2018

Make a Splash Campaign Teaches Millions to Swim - June 2018

Communities Can Earn Grants for Dog Park Development - June 2018

By Dave Ramont

Swimming pool season is officially upon us. And recently, experts from the Water Quality & Health Council, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) teamed up to release the 2019 Healthy Pools survey. The survey revealed that half of Americans (51 percent) report using the swimming pool as a "communal bathtub." This might mean using the pool to rinse off after yardwork or exercise, or going swimming as a substitute for showering. This despite the fact that 64 percent of Americans say they know that pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming.

This practice can lead to bad pool chemistry for everyone who gets in the water, but rinsing off prior to swimming can make a big difference, according to Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. "When dirt, sweat, personal care products and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs. Rinsing off for just one minute removes most of the dirt, sweat or anything else on your body."

Urine also reacts with chlorine, reducing the amount of chlorine available to kill germs. But according to the survey, which is conducted to educate the public about healthy and safe swimming, 40 percent of Americans admit they've peed in a swimming pool as an adult. Other revelations revealed in the survey include that 48 percent of Americans report they never shower before swimming, and 24 percent would go in a swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea. Additionally, most Americans don't know that pool chemistry can be affected by personal care items such as makeup (53 percent) and deodorant (55 percent).

"Pools are great places to have fun with friends and family," said Jim Mock, interim executive director of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. "A trained pool operator can get the mix of pool chemicals healthy and safe, and swimmers can help keep it right by swimming healthy."

The Water Quality and Health Council is offering free pool test kits through its annual Healthy Pools campaign. The kits can be used to measure chlorine levels and pH in public pools or backyard pools. Only 21 percent of Americans report ever using a pool test kit in a public pool, for instance at a hotel or waterpark.

The Council also suggests checking inspection scores at the swimming venue or online, and they've compiled a growing list of local and state health departments that provide online access to swimming pool inspection reports. If your community or state is not listed, they suggest contacting your health department or checking directly with the facility for more information.

The 2019 Healthy Pools survey was conducted online by Sachs Media Group, which interviewed 3,100 American adults on April 12-13, 2019. The survey was nationally representative of American adults in terms of age, race, gender, income and region. Pool test kits, pool inspection reports and more information can be found at waterandhealth.org.