Vomit in Pool

Published on Jan 30, 2024

Jules the Pool Girl

As commercial swimming pool operators, we have certain job requirements to keep our bodies of water functioning and safe. This includes things such as ensuring the equipment is running properly, keeping safety equipment in good repair, testing the water, and making the necessary dosing instructions. We have to log our water test findings. The most important thing we have to do is Expect the Unexpected. You never know what could go wrong on any given day. Part of our job is knowing how to deal with every situation. Are you prepared if you find vomit in your pool?

It’s unfortunate, but people sometimes will vomit in your swimming pool. This is treated much like blood or solid fecal matter, but not quite as severe. The first thing you’ll want to do is close the pool. It is recommended to keep the pool closed for at least half an hour, depending on free chlorine levels,  to perform the necessary steps and allow the filtration system to remove any contaminants.. How is vomit dangerous? The most common effect is that the norovirus germs can spread.

Vomit in Pool Step #1

You’ll want to net the chunks out of the pool as best as you can. Clean and sanitize the net afterward. Discharge the contents directly to the sanitary sewer or other approved wastewater disposal.  Leaving your net in the pool while you treat it is a good way to accomplish sanitizing it. According to the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code, the following steps are required.

Vomit in Pool Next Steps

Check to ensure that the water’s pH is 7.5 or lower. You’ll need to test and adjust as necessary. Give it time to work. You’ll want to verify and maintain the temperature of the water at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) or higher. If your pool is not kept at this temperature, it will take time to heat.

You’ll need to operate the filtration/recirculation system while you get your pool to the proper DPD-FC concentration while you remedy the situation. Hopefully, you were already running the circulation system. Then you’ll need to check the free chlorine residual. Do this at multiple sampling points. This ensures the proper DPD-FC concentration level has been accomplished throughout the pool the whole time you are doing the disinfection process.

Vomit in Pool Chemical Treatment

As far as adding chlorine (if needed) use chlorine without cyanuric acid in it. The goal is to raise the free chlorine level to 2 ppm. The 2 ppm must be maintained for 25 minutes. This requires even more testing!  The aquatic team member should replace any cartridge filters that were affected and backwash after completing the disinfection. You will also need to document the incident including sanitizer readings and pH readings. Test, test, test!

Vomit in Pool Testing

Testing your pool water is a big part of our routine as Commercial Aquatic Venue Operators. We test often to ensure that our water is balanced. Then we have to see which fields are off figure out the dose of a particular chemical and then add it to the water. If we have a vomit, blood, or fecal incident we have to test throughout the disinfection process. We want our water chemistry to be balanced for the comfort and safety of our bathers, to protect the surface of the vessel, and to ensure the longevity of our swimming pool equipment.

Work smart, not hard. The PoolShark H2O App paired with the LaMotte Spin Lab can help you through any vomit/blood/fecal incidents as well as your day-to-day testing. All you do to test is take the syringe provided and grab a small amount of the water. You then insert it into a spin disc. Place the spin disc into the testing component and viola! The water test results are sent to any device you have the Pool Shark H2O App installed on in just 60 seconds. Not ready to dive in on the spin lab? No problem! You can manually test and add your findings to the App. Using the LaMotte Spin Lab and the Pool Shark H2O App not only gives you more accurate water test results but provides dosing instructions custom to your pool size. No need to bust out that calculator. Pool Shark H2O uses the most accurate method of water testing, the Langelier Saturation index. 

How the Pool Shark H2O App Helps with Vomit in Pool

But wait! There's more! The Pool Shark H2O App also records all your water tests! It even has a place to store an incident, like the vomit incident we just discussed. Selecting a body fluid contamination type when entering the water test will instantly provide the steps your team needs to take and any chemical dosages required to get the pool/ spa open again! Documenting such incidents must be done immediately. So say goodbye to your old-fashioned paper log method for recording incidents and routine water tests. They are all digitally stored for easy access by you or any public health official. No more boxes and boxes of previous logs that we are required to hold onto for years.

Work even smarter by using the App’s custom checklist feature. Geo-fencing is another awesome feature. And your VGB drains that expire and have to be replaced? Yup. The Pool Shark H2O App has reminders when it is time to change them. We all want to keep our bodies of water safe. We all want to work as efficiently as possible. We all want to protect ourselves if someone were to claim they got sick from our pool. The Pool Shark H2O App is the newest technology that accomplishes all of these wants and needs. You can test, record and relax. Pool Shark H2O to the rescue! See you poolside! 

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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