CDC finds E. coli in 58% of public pools - WKRN News 2

CDC finds E. coli in 58% of public pools

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Metro public pools are set to open Saturday to kick off the Memorial Day weekend, but you might want to think twice before jumping in.  

The Aquatics Center at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville is the place to be if you are looking to get in a little workout and instant rejuvenation.

"I mean I get in and sometimes I feel 79 and when I get out I feel 35, so it works," said avid swimmer Jacqueline May.

However, what does not work for May and other avid swimmers is an alarming new study about the possibility they may be splashing around in human feces.

"It's disgusting! It's horrible! It's gross," said concerned swimmer Holly Butler.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found E. coli in 58% of samples taken from filters at public pools.  E. coli can cause serious gastrointestinal illness and can be stubborn if chlorine levels are not adequate.  

The CDC report revealed E. coli was in 70% of municipal pools.  They also found E. coli in 49% of club pools.  As well as 73%-percent of kiddie pools tested positive for the bacteria.

"In the 16-years I have been here, we've never had an illness outbreak tied back to pool water," said Brian Todd, Metro Public Health Spokesman.

Todd says the department inspects 900 pools a month throughout Davidson County, with an emphasis of making sure the chlorine is at the appropriate level to kills germs.  

Health officials like Todd say swimmers typically contaminate pool water when they do not use proper hygiene.  They add there are things we can do to help keep the water clean.

For instance:

  • Shower with soap before you start swimming.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes.
  • Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet or changing diapers.

"If you do those things you'll go a long way to protect yourself," said Todd

The CDC tested water from pools in Atlanta and claim the results are comparable to other public pool across the country.

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