Bacterial Infections from Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs

Published on Nov 28, 2023

Jules the Pool Girl

It’s the off season, so indoor pools are all the rage right now. Hot tubs can be used indoors or outdoors. Due to their warm temperatures, they tend to get used all year long. We have many things on our checklist when taking care of an indoor pool or an indoor or outdoor hot tub. We have to maintain the equipment. We have to ensure safety signs and equipment are in place. We have to clean the bodies of water. Most importantly, we have to test and balance the water chemistry. Now, why is this most important?

bacterial infection from swimming pool


Improperly balanced water can affect the air quality on an indoor body of water, causing people to become ill. It can wreak havoc on the equipment and vessel walls. It can cause serious infections to those bathers actually using the facilities. We need to constantly maintain properly balanced water to keep people healthy and safe. Especially in a hot tub, where the sanitizer can burn off in as little as 30 minutes! 

Some diseases you can get from a hot tub include Hot Tub Lung which is a specific form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is caused by swelling in the lungs due to liquid or solid droplets in the air. These droplets are contaminated by bacteria or other infectious agents. While painful, Hot Tub Lung is not an infection as much as it is a condition. Hot tub rash is another disease which is caused by a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This unpleasant rash is itchy and can present with bumpy, red, pus-filled blisters in and around the hair follicles.

Yet another is Legionella. This bacteria is found in droplets of water that come from hot steam which gets inhaled. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a pretty common problem from contaminated water in pools or hot tubs. If it goes untreated it can cause urosepsis, which can be life-threatening! They are super uncomfortable, especially when trying to pee. Finally, one could develop an allergic reaction to unbalanced pool or spa water. The most common is potassium peroxymonosulfate (PPMS).

The best way to prevent these is to test, test, TEST your water often, and promptly make the dosing instructions. C’mon folks! Our bather’s health is our main responsibility. The easiest way to test is by pairing the LaMotte Spin Lab with the Pool Shark H2O App. You take a small syringe of sample water and insert it into a spin disc. The disc gets placed into the spin lab and boom! Results in just 60 seconds are sent to all devices with the Pool Shark H2O App. Don’t have a spin lab yet? No problem! The user-friendly Pool Shark H2O App allows you to manually enter your water test results.

The other part of water testing is knowing how to dose to correct the water chemistry. The customizable Pool Shark H2O App will give you specific chemical dosing requirements based on the Langelier Saturation Index–the safest way to balance water. Why fiddle around with a calculator or a chemical dosing chart when PoolShark H2O does it for you?

The final part of water testing is proper record keeping. That is why we are required by law to log all of our water tests. Having accurate logs can help your facility in the case someone were to get sick and blame you!

The problem with old-fashioned paper log books is that they go unused, get misplaced, or get wet. They also take up a TON of space as we are supposed to keep these records for YEARS. The Pool Shark H2O App is a modern way of keeping digital logs. Save errors, save space, save lives! Pool Shark H2O to the rescue!

See you pool/hot tub side!

Digital Pool Tester Guide

The benefits of implementing Pool Shark include:

  • Substantial ROI
  • Better Water Conditions
  • Improved Guest & Customer Satisfaction
  • Plug and Play Ease of Use
  • Stronger Risk Management & Reduced Liability
  • Guides and Practices
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