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View Full Version : Pool closed due to poop - question



swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 10:14 AM
During the first 50 of warm-up I spotted poop this morning. I confirmed it on the 2nd 50 and got out to tell the coach. Eventually they closed the pool, cleaned it out and threw in some chlorine directly in to the pool. But then they reopened about 30 min later. I was a bit shocked that they opened it so soon. The pool is a 50 meter x 25 yard pool so pretty big and they only threw in one 5 gal bucket of chlorine before letting us all back in. Does that sound right? If I remember my life guarding days right, poop means several hours of shutting down.

I was disappointed to have the workout suspended but I certainly didn't want to risk us getting sick, either.

Michael Heather
July 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Are you sure what it was? It is an old trick to toss a baby ruth bar into the pool if the kids don't want to swim.

aquageek
July 13th, 2009, 10:27 AM
I've heard two methods on this - 6 hours and/or the approximate time it takes the pool water to recirc one time, which I guess might be the 6 hour thing. There is an epidemic of pooping in pools these days. It makes me crazy. I think if your kid craps in the pool, you lose pool rights for one week.

swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Are you sure what it was? It is an old trick to toss a baby ruth bar into the pool if the kids don't want to swim.

Trust me, it was clearly poop. Two spots. I have a 4 year old and I've seen my share of it so I can clearly tell what it is now.

I would love to find the parent who let their child poop and make them clean the pool. The pool is open to the public with a fee so anyone could have done this. And I'm sure it was done last night since we are the first ones in before it opens to the public.

Six hours sounds about right to me. 30 min seems way too short.

dwlovell
July 13th, 2009, 10:35 AM
I've heard two methods on this - 6 hours and/or the approximate time it takes the pool water to recirc one time, which I guess might be the 6 hour thing. There is an epidemic of pooping in pools these days. It makes me crazy. I think if your kid craps in the pool, you lose pool rights for one week.

I have been swimming Masters for a while at our pool and happy that they have a seperate instructional pool. When **** happens, they cancel all instructional classes for that day, but none of the swim practices are affected because they are in a different pool.

I always wondered what happened to the kids who did the deed though. Recently I signed up my daughter for the 4-5 yr old class and part of the signup says that if your kid poops, you pay $200 and are banned from the pool. That was pretty good motivation to make sure she would not mess up.

swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 10:37 AM
I have been swimming Masters for a while at our pool and happy that they have a seperate instructional pool. When **** happens, they cancel all instructional classes for that day, but none of the swim practices are affected because they are in a different pool.

I always wondered what happened to the kids who did the deed though. Recently I signed up my daughter for the 4-5 yr old class and part of the signup says that if your kid poops, you pay $200 and are banned from the pool. That was pretty good motivation to make sure she would not mess up.

David, is she going to the new Gwinnett pool?

Rich Abrahams
July 13th, 2009, 10:44 AM
There are several ways to handle the poop in the pool issue (known in the trade as an Accidental Fecal Release or AFR). Without getting too techincal, the "well formed stool" poses very little risk if chlorine levels are where they are supposed to be. Even the bad form of e-coli is destroyed nearly instantly by this level of chlorine. Sometimes supplemental chlorine is added more as a pr gesture than anything strictly health related. On the other hand, diahrea (sp?) is another matter. In that case you have to prepare for the worst case scenario of cryptosporidium being introduced. That requires a much longer contact time with chlorine. Eight hours at 20 parts per million of chlorine is considered adequate. The lower level of chlorine, the longer the required contact time. Things get a bit trickier with outdoor pools that use a chlorine stabilizer to conteract UV's impact on chlorine. In general, that chlorine is less effective as a disinfectant and contact time needs to be adjusted accordingly. Automatic chemical controlers that measure the water's oxidative reduction potential (ORP) are a much more accurate way to predict chlorine's effectiveness.

Sorry for the technical explaination, but I hope this helps.

Rich

swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 10:49 AM
Thanks Rich. This was a well formed piece until one of the team members tried to remove it with a cup. Then apparently it became particles every where. I am putting my faith that this place has kept good chlorine levels overall. I know their filtration system is not the best and they rarely vacuum. I was also the only family member once to get pink eye and it was on a day when they were dumping chlorine directly in to the pool. Let's just hope no one gets sick this time. The team has a big meet this weekend.

aquageek
July 13th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Recently I signed up my daughter for the 4-5 yr old class and part of the signup says that if your kid poops, you pay $200 and are banned from the pool. That was pretty good motivation to make sure she would not mess up.

Where is this being done and can it be cloned nationwide?

knelson
July 13th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I think if your kid craps in the pool, you lose pool rights for one week.

One week? How about permanently! What are kids who aren't in diapers doing pooping in the pool? I don't get it.

In response to Rich's post, I'm wondering if the protocol is different for a PFR (purposeful fecal release)?

aquageek
July 13th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I served for a year on a member's aquatic cmte at a local pool and this is a very large and daunting problem for pools apparentely. No amount of signage, free elastic rubber diaper pant things, or any other idea proves very successful. All too often, the offending child's parents will whisk the kid out and high tail it home before fault can be assigned. When we were kids we never had this issue because kids under 4 were not allowed in the main pool. I also think the proliferation of the water park themed community pools makes parents go berserk and forget little Johnnie is a big dumper.

It has gotten so bad that one local pool has a "pool condition hotline" so that you can call ahead to see if the pool is closed due to weather or "accident." It's maddening. I'm glad I swim at an aquatic club and not a Y or kiddie pool.

Paul Smith
July 13th, 2009, 11:10 AM
I served for a year on a member's aquatic cmte at a local pool and this is a very large and daunting problem for pools apparentely. No amount of signage, free elastic rubber diaper pant things, or any other idea proves very successful. All too often, the offending child's parents will whisk the kid out and high tail it home before fault can be assigned. When we were kids we never had this issue because kids under 4 were not allowed in the main pool. I also think the proliferation of the water park themed community pools makes parents go berserk and forget little Johnnie is a big dumper.

It has gotten so bad that one local pool has a "pool condition hotline" so that you can call ahead to see if the pool is closed due to weather or "accident." It's maddening. I'm glad I swim at an aquatic club and not a Y or kiddie pool.

Talking about poop...something you are finally qualified to discuss...

chaos
July 13th, 2009, 11:23 AM
i propose mandatory pre-swim colonics for everyone under 10 and over 90.

Tim L
July 13th, 2009, 11:28 AM
There are several ways to handle the poop in the pool issue (known in the trade as an Accidental Fecal Release or AFR). Without getting too techincal, the "well formed stool" poses very little risk if chlorine levels are where they are supposed to be. Even the bad form of e-coli is destroyed nearly instantly by this level of chlorine. Sometimes supplemental chlorine is added more as a pr gesture than anything strictly health related. On the other hand, diahrea (sp?) is another matter. In that case you have to prepare for the worst case scenario of cryptosporidium being introduced. That requires a much longer contact time with chlorine. Eight hours at 20 parts per million of chlorine is considered adequate. The lower level of chlorine, the longer the required contact time. Things get a bit trickier with outdoor pools that use a chlorine stabilizer to conteract UV's impact on chlorine. In general, that chlorine is less effective as a disinfectant and contact time needs to be adjusted accordingly. Automatic chemical controlers that measure the water's oxidative reduction potential (ORP) are a much more accurate way to predict chlorine's effectiveness.

Sorry for the technical explaination, but I hope this helps.

Rich

"AFR" is classic. Maybe we can refer to Geek's postings as "AFRs" just for fun.

Tim

ddl
July 13th, 2009, 11:35 AM
This case is rather bad as it seems to have stayed in the pool overnight! I think they should drain the pool completely.


part of the signup says that if your kid poops

Sounds like a good rule, but I wonder whether it has ever been actually applied to anyone. I tend to think it's very unlikely to catch the kid who did it.

And who says only kids are the ones that could have done it? Once when I lived in a Y, I found a whole "well formed" piece of poop in the shower. I knew there were no kids there.

Glenn
July 13th, 2009, 01:18 PM
This thread is a bunch of crap!:D

quicksilver
July 13th, 2009, 01:20 PM
The rule of thumb is 24 hours from time of doody removal.
The pool needs to be *shocked* and then checked periodically for balanced chemical levels.

The fine for illegal dumping is a great idea. Going to suggest that one to the board.

Hoosier
July 13th, 2009, 02:08 PM
A friend, who at one time was the aquatics director for a well known Indiana based Catholic University,told me of a similiar occurance. But in this case, persons unknown entered the facility at night and left their "deposit" for all to find in the morning. When I exclaimed how gross that was, he then told me of the amount of "crap" in the pool, from persons not showering before entering. This "crack wash" can bring in far more fecal material each DAY then one of these deposits!! In his honor, each and every day I do a JS memorial crack wash (shower) before swimming.... I also remember it, when, at 7:45 the noodlers show up, all 25 of them, and I notice not a one has taken a shower. For a while I was most bothered by the smell of perfume that came floating on the top of the water immediately after they all jump in.....but not anymore.

knelson
July 13th, 2009, 02:08 PM
This case is rather bad as it seems to have stayed in the pool overnight! I think they should drain the pool completely.

I think this is completely impractical. Drain a 50 meter pool? They might as well close the pool for the rest of the season. We're talking about half a million gallons of water here.

swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 02:49 PM
It will be partially drained (and closed for 2 weeks) in Sept. I'd rather not have that happen now! But closing it for longer than 30 min would have made me feel a bit more comfortable when I got back in.

dwlovell
July 13th, 2009, 04:13 PM
David, is she going to the new Gwinnett pool?

Dynamo Chamblee

swimshark
July 13th, 2009, 04:38 PM
Dynamo Chamblee

Nice pool. My first masters team was Dynamo.

stillwater
July 13th, 2009, 05:31 PM
My experience with poop in the pool is that the powers that be remove the duke, chlorinate the area, and cordon off a undetermined area for an undetermined time period.

I'm comfortable with this. Revenue lost by closing the pool could make the difference in staying open year round or seasonally.

Chlorine is pretty potent stuff. I've never heard of someone getting sick from a tots turd in the tub.

aquageek
July 13th, 2009, 05:41 PM
...and cordon off a undetermined area for an undetermined time period.

How do you cordon off circulating water?

knelson
July 13th, 2009, 05:50 PM
How do you cordon off circulating water?

Good question! And I was wondering about the "throw a 5 gallon bucket of chlorine and wait 30 minutes" strategy, too. I can't imagine that would be enough time to dilute the chlorine sufficiently and there'd be a serious localized hot spot. The danger from the high chlorine level would probably be more than from the AFR!

stillwater
July 13th, 2009, 07:53 PM
How do you cordon off circulating water?

You don't. You cordon off an area.

Just as there would be a high density of chlorinated water when you dump in five gallons of chlorine, there would be a high density of poop molecules close to the prize. Remove the offending loaf and circulating water should diffuse the density of duce molecules.

What the acceptable level of caca molecules are is a question best answered by others.

sydned
July 13th, 2009, 09:13 PM
I was in a town pool a few years ago when a man entered, caring for his very elderly father. We were in with our son when all of a sudden, I saw a LARGE floater. The poor older man had reached the point beyond which he should have been swimming there, and when I pointed it out, they had to close the pool for the rest of the day, shock it, and make sure everyone "evacuated" immediately.

I certainly wouldn't have wanted to get back in there after just half an hour!! I

Somehow this was not as bad, however, as the time I was at the YMCA and a man walking on deck had an seizure and fell in the pool. And while the lifeguard was jumping in to rescue him, people just kept swimming! Looked over, saw what was happening, and just kept going! My friend and I stopped all swimmers, and got everyone out of the pool while the lifeguard tended to this man. Needless to say, even after we determined he was okay, it just didn't seem right to get in and keep swimming. Our workout time was over, emotionally and otherwise.

swimshark
July 14th, 2009, 03:26 PM
I am happy to report that we had a poop-free practice today :)

humanpunchingbag
July 14th, 2009, 07:46 PM
So, um, just thinking about this. In an open water swim, such as a lake or an ocean, how much "poop" particulate matter do you think is floating around out there. Whales poop, birds poop, fish evacuate, heck even starfish let go daily, not to mention all the wild animals that defecate upstream to our lakes. Then there is the rather large sewage dump from our cities and towns, not to mention the groundwater contamination from the septic systems of houses that line the lakes. Of course, fecal contamination is likely the least of the problem. PCBs, murcury, and various industrial solvents are dumped daily into our sewage systems, and everything finds its way to the sea eventually.


Considering all that, I would think that cleaning up the visible fecal matter, boosting the chlorine count in the pool and allowing ample dilution time would be quite effective. Many (most?) people have a fair bit of fecal contamination on their back-side to start with, all of which is washed off into the pool within the first few minutes of their swim. Somethings are best just not thought about.

ddl
July 14th, 2009, 11:20 PM
Hoping for the closure of this thread...my appetite has been severely affected these last two days :shakeshead:

RuffWater
July 15th, 2009, 10:41 AM
So, um, just thinking about this. In an open water swim, such as a lake or an ocean, how much "poop" particulate matter do you think is floating around out there. Whales poop, birds poop, fish evacuate, heck even starfish let go daily, not to mention all the wild animals that defecate upstream to our lakes. Then there is the rather large sewage dump from our cities and towns, not to mention the groundwater contamination from the septic systems of houses that line the lakes. Of course, fecal contamination is likely the least of the problem. PCBs, murcury, and various industrial solvents are dumped daily into our sewage systems, and everything finds its way to the sea eventually.


Considering all that, I would think that cleaning up the visible fecal matter, boosting the chlorine count in the pool and allowing ample dilution time would be quite effective. Many (most?) people have a fair bit of fecal contamination on their back-side to start with, all of which is washed off into the pool within the first few minutes of their swim. Somethings are best just not thought about.


My thoughts exactly. Best not to dwell on it and just keep swimming.


If we stopped to think of all the fecal molecules, urine, sweat, snot, spit, bile, oils, the crud between our toes, ear wax, dead skin flakes, old band-aids, hair, whatever is on the pool deck, etc, etc, etc that end up in the pool immediately after a group of people gets inů. no one would ever swim.

bud
July 16th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Try this CDC document first...
http://www.cdc.gov/healthySwimming/pdf/Fecal_Incident_Response_Recommendations_for_Pool_S taff.pdf

For more info use this Google search...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=swimming+pool+fecal+incident+response

There are specific formulas for treating various "bio-hazard" incidents in swimming pools. The quantity of sanitizing agent (usually chlorine, measured as ppm, or parts per million), and the treatment time, varies depending on the type of incident. Any CPO (certified pool operator) should know the proper response.

The above CDC document covers things pretty thoroughly. If you like to be on top of things you may want to give it a read... then you will be more informed if something like this happens at your pool.

Formed stools are not really that big a deal. A bucket of chlorine "at the scene of the crime" and 30min is pretty suitable... but really it depends on the Chlorine level of the pool at the time of the incident... and the quality of the pools circulation system.

Most public use type pools will run Chlorine levels about 3ppm or higher. Most test kits measure a range of 0.5 to 5 ppm... so that is going to be the typical operating range for chlorine.

You will notice that in the above CDC document that the Giardia Inactivation Time at 3ppm is 19 minutes. At 1 ppm, E. coli is zapped in < 1 minute (under average conditions).

Really, if your pool is properly built and maintained, you are about as safe as you can be. You have a lot better chance of picking up a contaminate from a grocery cart handle than you do swimming in a properly maintained pool.
"S. aureus is an incredibly hardy bacterium, as was shown in a study where it survived on a piece of polyester for just under three months, polyester being the main material used in hospital privacy curtains."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staphylococcus_aureus#Infection_control

If it's gonna git ya... it's gonna git ya.

As mentioned earlier, people not bathing or at least rinsing off (especially "crack wash") before entering a pool puts way more stress on a pools sanitary condition than a single formed stool incident.

Loose stools are an entirely different situation, and will typically shut the pool down for the rest of the day... at least. Again... see the CDC document referenced here for the real deal.

The idea of fining for these incidents sounds good, but maybe not. As mentioned most folks are too embarrassed by the incident and are gone before pool staff can identify them. This is a real shame, as knowing the health condition of the person who caused the incident can help determine the risk of operating the pool. ("Do we close for one day?... Or one week?") Most pools are run as a business, and rarely turn a profit... time and money (cost of treatment, etc.) are definitely factors that come into play.

Draining and refilling a pool due to a fecal incident is totally impractical. This is a very costly process, especially for large (competition) pools. But I've heard that it is necessary in the event of broken glass!

Aside from treating the water with chemicals, the most important factor is the pools circulation system. If this is not very efficient, or compromised, there may be parts of the pool that do not get as well treated (if at all) with fresh chemicals. Some older pools have relatively poor circulation systems... even when they are operating properly. Newer pools, especially large (competition) ones that have water return ports located on the bottom (as well as the sides), generally have far superior circulation systems. Gutter systems are far superior to skimmer ports (plus they greatly reduce wave action). ;)

But.. as mentioned... it is best to just not think of it... and hope your pool has a good CPO.
:blush:

swimshark
July 17th, 2009, 07:10 AM
Thanks Bud. I did look at the CDC document you linked on the day it happened. I'm not sure what the chlorine levels were on the day of the incident since they hadn't tested the pool yet. No head guard was on duty and the ones that were on duty were not ones I normally would trust to know in this situation, which is why I question their response. The circulation in this pool is horrible. I get attacked by hair at least once a week and they don't vacuum often enough.