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The following are general steps that can greatly help to reduce the possibility of contracting a waterborne E. coli and other illnesses from a swimming pool:
- Always keep your pool water in balance and maintain proper levels of disinfectant and pH.
- The pool should not be used unless the filtration system is in good working order.
- Children who are not toilet trained or anyone who is incontinent should not use the pool. If incontinent individuals are using the pool, they should wear tight-fitting rubber pants, special swimsuits or "swim diapers" to control fecal materials.
- Never allow the changing of diapers at poolside or washing off of infants in the pool.
- Pool users should be sure to use the toilet and wash their hands with soap and hot water BEFORE entering the pool.
- Pool users should take a hot soapy shower before entering the pool.
- Pool users who are suffering from a communicable disease that can be transmitted through water or who have had diarrhea in the previous 2 weeks should not use the pool.
- Have feces removed from the pool and disposed of, then disinfect removal equipment.
- Disinfect the pool by achieving a Concentration Time (CT) value of 9,600. The CT value comes from multiplying the concentration of chlorine (C) in parts per million by the time in minutes (T) to equal 9,600.
- When possible, run the filtration system for 3 to 4 turnovers, which usually takes 24 hours. Then backwash the filter to a sanitary sewer.
- For small pools and spas, the pool should be drained and disinfected. Refill the pool and restart the filtration system and balance the water.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018