Myths about swimming pools and how to know they are safe


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)  While there is room for concern with safety there are still myths that are more like old wives tales rather than truth. ABC4 did some digging to help find out the answers to many common misconceptions about swimming pools. 

According to there are seven common myths they help dispell

#1: Wait an hour after you eat to swim or you will get cramps.

Myth: Some Truth

The truth is, when your stomach is digesting food, more blood goes to your stomach to aid in digestion, leaving less blood in your other muscles. If you overwork those muscles while swimming, you may get a cramp, but not likely. To avoid making this a reality, be sure to eat a lighter meal and ease back into swimming after eating.

#2: There’s too much chlorine in the pool because I can smell it!

Myth: False

Actually, the opposite is true. When you smell it in the air, that means it’s not in the water doing its job and more chlorine needs to be added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a healthy pool does not have a strong chemical smell and while the chemicals used usually kill germs within minutes, some live for days. 

Chemicals also break down many things swimmers body’s leave behind but this uses up the chemicals, leaving less available to kill germs. 

#3: Chlorine will turn my blonde hair green!

Myth: False

Some algaecides are copper based and the oxidized metals in the water can attach to the protein in the hair shaft. No worries, it can easily be removed by a shampoo that strips the color or by conditioning the hair BEFORE swimming.

#4: Chlorine burns your eyes if you open them underwater.

Myth: False

It’s not chlorine that burns your eyes, but water with an unbalanced pH level

If you smell chlorine, it’s actually the smell of chemicals that mix with the gunk left behind from swimmers. The chemicals, not chlorine, make your eyes red and sting and your nose run and make you cough. 

#5: If you pee in the pool, it will turn blue!

Myth: False

Parents have often used it to keep their children from peeing in the pool, and it’s a fact that even 52% of adults believe it too! In reality, it doesn’t exist. Though a chemical could be created to react to urine, it would be difficult to prevent it from reacting to other substances in pool water as well.

#6: There’s no chlorine in a saltwater pool.

Myth: False

A saltwater pool is not a chlorine free pool. To sanitize a salt water pool, salt water is forced across a special metal cell that is charged with an electrical current. This process is called electrolysis and creates chlorine.

Another common misconception is that you don’t have to use swimming pool shock treatment with a saltwater pool. Shocking your saltwater pool is still necessary for sanitization and to prevent algae.

#7: A clear pool is clean and healthy.

Myth: False

Don’t trust the pool’s appearance—trust the chemistry! It is important to test the water every week and pay attention to the water chemistry for swimming pools to make sure that there aren’t unhealthy levels of micro-ogranisms.

So the next time you hear one of these swimming pool tales, you will be educated in knowing the real truth. 

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