What kills Pseudomonas in a pool?

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What kills Pseudomonas in a pool?
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is a bacteria found in nature that can be moved into a swimming pool easily (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Swimming pools can become infected with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa when the bacteria is carried into pool water on the bodies of swimmers. Once a swimming pool or spa is infected with the bacteria it can be difficult to remove as skin cells often found in pools can form around the bacteria and protect it from algaecides, chlorine and other forms of disenfectant.

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Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

A bacteria commonly found in the natural environment Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is not usually dangerous for people with a healthy immune system, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. Classified as a bacteria it is usually found in the natural environment in soils and water growing best in warm, damp environments like swimming pools and the surrounding areas like decks and flooring. The most common form of infection for swimming pools is the bacteria being carried into a pool on the bodies of swimmers who picks it up as they walk to and from a pool.

Prevention

Prevention is often described as the best way of avoiding an infection with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. Making sure the swimming pool is clean and maintained with the proper levels of chemicals, such as chlorine that can destroy the bacteria when it is moved into the pool. As Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is usually passed into a swimming pool on the hands, feet and torso of a swimmer it can be a good idea to ensure swimmers shower or at least wash their hands and feet before entering the pool. Cleaning the area used to enter and exit the pool can also reduce the risk of infection.

Cleaning

Once a pool or spa has been infected with the bacteria the only way to ensure it is removed completely is to clean and test the pool and the water, according to Hot Water Productions. Removing all filters and cleaning the pipework used to move water around a pump, filter and jet system is the first step in removing Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Following this chlorine should be added in relevant amounts to the size of the pool being treated with skimmer nets used to remove the physical particles created by the bacteria. This step should be repeated until no physical particles remain and followed by the addition of algeacide and the pool filters left to run at least overnight; if particles return to the pool or a test shows the presence of the Pseudomonas Aeruginosa bacteria the process should be repeated.

Illness

Although it rarely causes problems for healthy people those with immune system problems can be infected easily with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, according to the Government of Western Australia Ministry of Health. The bacteria most commonly causes otitis externa, better known as swimmers ear in swimmers; the bacteria can also result in a skin rash lasting for approximately one week. With most people symptoms surface for a short period of time that do not result in a specific illness, symptoms include fever, headaches and irritated eyes.

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