It's Hot Tub Disease Season!

Published on Dec 16, 2021

Julie Johnson

Prevent Hot Tub Disease

Yup, it is that time of year again.  The Holidays, travel, and cold weather have arrived. It is also the ski and snowboarding season. What does this mean to you as a commercial spa or hot tub operator? More than usual use of your facility’s indoor pool and especially the hot tub.  Because of the higher temps, this smaller vessel is literally a breeding ground for death. 

One can get very sick in an unhealthy body of water, especially an indoor hot tub. There are multiple ailments a bather could incur if a hot tub is not treated properly. “Treated properly” means that it's tested several times a day because, with hot tubs, it is a breeding ground of bad, bad things. Luckily, the Pool Shark H20 App is once again an asset to these busy times a year. But without the app, what exactly could go wrong?

“Hot Tub Lung” 

This is an infection caused by Mycobacterium Avium Complex or (MAC) and can survive in hot water. These crazy little buggers have an outer layer that makes them stick to surfaces. So even draining a hot tub won’t always help eliminate these guys. But wait, there is more!  MAC can also stick to bubbles and/or droplets that appear on the hot tub’s surface and become aerosolized. If inhaled, the “bad-teria” can cause fever, inflammation of the lungs, cough, difficulty breathing, and even fatigue. We know your guests want to get a little relaxed, but not to the point of fatigue.  

“Hot Tub Rash”

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that can cause a nasty rash that is itchy, bumpy and can include blisters filled with pus, especially around a hair follicle. This infection is worse under the bather’s suit as it holds the contaminated water against one’s skin. The solution? Don’t allow bacteria to grow in your indoor spas.  How?  Test, Treat, Rinse, Repeat.

“Legionella Infection: AKA Legionnaire's Disease.”

This is a common bacteria that can cause pneumonia. These cruddy molecules of terror are found on the water droplets of hot steam from, I don’t know…a spa, perhaps? Steam rooms are also a liability when it comes to this disease. By keeping the surface of the hot tub clean and maintaining the right amount of sanitizer is key in preventing this risk to your clients. So, multiple daily tests are once again the key to ensuring your sanitizer levels are where they are supposed to be and water is balanced to allow for maximum efficiency of sanitizer, whether chlorine or bromine.

“Urinary Tract Infection AKA UTI”

This is actually caused by the same bacteria that causes hot tub rash,  Pseudomonas aeruginosa. If a urinary tract infection is left untreated it can actually be life-threatening!  This is when it turns into urosepsis, where bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause systemic infection.

“Allergic Reaction”

Some people have an allergy to your non-chlorine shock (potassium peroxymonosulfate (PPMS). No matter what chemical you are adding to your commercial body of water, you need to have the ability to test the levels. Some states, such as Maine, require hourly testing for hot tubs. Are we seeing a common thread here of testing? Yes? Ok, good. I was just testing.

Bromine versus Chlorine: And Fight!

Regardless of what sanitizer you use, it needs to be maintained. Bromine is ideal for indoor vessels because it does not gas off like chlorine does, functions at a higher PH, and doesn’t have that chlorine smell. The hot water temps also are notorious for breaking chlorine down faster. Bromine is a bit more pricey and cannot be stabilized.

Testing and Record-Keeping

It is uber important that we as pool and hot tub care professionals take these risks very seriously. We want our bathers to be safe while enjoying our property. It is also important to maintain accurate records of testing. This can be done with ease with the Pool Shark H20 App.  In the horrible instance someone claims to have gotten ill from your body of water, you will have a digital backup to support your meticulous testing, balancing, draining, and record keeping.

See you pool(and spa)side!

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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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