Public swimming pools seem so clean and refreshing as it may look. However, studies show that public pools are disgusting than you’ll ever think.

Below is a list of some awful things that you may not know about public swimming pools.

1.   Not taking shower before swimming

Studies showed that 70% of people that are swimming in the pool do not actually take a shower beforehand. It may seem unnecessary but rinsing off before jumping in the pool is essential.

Substances like deodorant, perfume, makeup, sunscreen, or even sweat and dirt from your body may be mixed with chlorine and other pool chemicals. In this case, it may cause significant irritation to your skin.

  • Too much smell of chlorine

You may notice a strong smell of the chlorine and other chemicals in the pool. This is not just because of extra chemicals but from the impurities of other swimmers who did not shower before entering the pool.

Fluids from your body also react with the substances in the pool. It means that the stronger the smell in the pool, the more contaminated it is.

2.   Peeing in the pool

According to a survey, 1 in 5 adults admits peeing in the pool. An average-sized swimming pool contains up to 75 litres of urine. Too much urine can deplete the chlorine concentration in the pool. This means that the chlorine now is less effective at killing germs.

3.   Poop in the pool

You may be unaware that while dipping in the pool, some of you may have residual faeces on your bodies. That is why there are several faecal materials shed in the pool.

Based on studies, adults bring in about 0.14 grams of faeces while children can carry up to 100 times that amount. Poops in the pool can carry bacteria like E. coli, Campylobacter(food poisoning), ShigellaVibrio and viruses such as hepatitis A and typhoid.

4.   Chlorine doesn’t kill all bacteria in the pool

There are microorganisms that are known to be chlorine resistant bacteria such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. These are bacteria that cause diarrhoeal ailments and gastrointestinal tract infections.

If you ingested pool water that is contaminated with faecal substances, then you are likely to be infected by “Crypto” disease. On the other hand, Giardia can also cause chronic diarrhoea and carries parasites that produce cysts.

5.   Animals in the pool

Some of you may bring pets with you in the public pool. Animals like dogs may introduce faecal materials in the pool. A normal-sized dog is equivalent to 3 humans in terms of the substances they bring into the pool.

There are also some instances that dead rats, birds, lizards and other insects were sucked up into the vacuum of the pool that may probably cause contamination to the water.

6.   Risk of other serious illnesses and injuries

You are not exempted with the illnesses and injuries you may acquire while you’re in the pool. Below are some of them:

  • Skin infections

If you stayed at the pool for a long time, you may notice some red spots and itchiness on your skin. This may be symptoms of a common infection known as “hot tub rash” or Pseudomonas dermatitis or folliculitis.

Bacteria, viruses or parasites are lurking around the pool. Exposing an open wound may result in some serious infection.   

  • Drowning

Children are prone to unexpected injuries such as drowning in public pools. You cannot easily spot a drowning incident especially in a pool where there are a lot of people swimming.

These are some of the awful things that might surprise you when you are in the public swimming pools. However, there is a practical solution in order to enjoy swimming in pools without experiencing these terrible things.

Solution to avoid the awful things in public pools:

In fact, the things mentioned above are not very serious. There are certain rules in NSW that are already enforced to prevent you from encountering these problems.  For instance, pets are usually banned in public swimming pool in Australia. Moreover, all public swimming pools are required to meet pool sanitary standards.

But if you want to avoid all the awful things above altogether, you can definitely swim in your private pool in your backyard after buying or renting a house with a swimming pool.


From the information given above, you are now aware of the awful things that you may encounter in the public pool. Also, to minimise the risk of infections and injuries that you may possibly experience in a public pool, swimming in your private pool can be a better option. You only need to have your pools inspected to ensure that you and your kids are safe.

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