KINGMAN - Rachel Patterson, Mohave County environmental health division manager, said May 19-25 is National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week.
It's a time to highlight healthy swimming behaviors, especially in public pools.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention news release states, "Germs on and in swimmers' bodies end up in the water and can make other people sick."
The CDC recommends: Do not swim when you have diarrhea; do not swallow pool water or get pool water in your mouth; shower before swimming; wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers; take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often; change children's diapers in a bathroom, not at poolside.
The environmental health division of the Mohave County Department of Public Health inspects all public and semi-public pools.
"Our priority is that swimming pools are kept clean and members of the public know to not go in pools when they are ill," Patterson said. "If someone has had diarrhea or vomiting, he or she should not go in the pool."
Pool operators must check chemicals at least once per day and usually do it twice, Patterson said. Pools are much safer than lakes or rivers because they are closed systems in which operators have control over disinfection.
However, poor pool maintenance can lead to illness such as outbreaks of E-coli. That should not be a problem in pools disinfected frequently and where chemicals are in the proper balance. "A pool that smells like chlorine isn't necessarily a clean pool," Patterson said. "You should be able to clearly see the main drain, which is at the deepest part of the pool. "If the water is cloudy, you should not go swimming. One, the chemicals are not balanced; and two, if you can't see the bottom, there is the danger of someone having a problem and not being seen."
For more information, visit the Web site at www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming.