In swimming pools, PA can be found on various areas such as pool coping, waterfall edges, ladder steps, etc. PA infects the hair follicles on the body. If infected, you will notice the following characteristics of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa:

Itchy rash 8 to 48 hours after contamination.
Rash can occur on arms, legs or trunk of body.
Rash disappears 7 to 10 days without treatment.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is NOT related to other water borne illnesses such as e-coli, crypto sporidia or giardia. Click here for information on those illnesses.


The Pseudomonas bacteria can readily find itself in biofilms. For this reason, treating & preventing the growth and spread of biofilms throughout the swimming pool system is so important. Read about
biofilms here.


Perform the following procedure to treat an infected pool:

1. Remove the filter (if Cartridge type) and soak in a solution of chlorine and water during treatment. (2 Tbsp of Chlorine/5 gallons of water)
2. Shock with four times the normal dose of BioGuard Smart Shock or Burn Out. If there has been a fecal discharge, up to 20 times the amount of chlorine may be necessary to treat the pool.
3. Circulate pool for 12 hours. The bacterial growth usually builds up in the lines, so it is necessary to flush them thoroughly. Clean & sanitize all pool areas & surfaces.
4. Chemically clean (such as BioGuard® Strip Kwik®) and / or replace the filter .
5. Readjust the water balance pool. Do not enter pool until chlorine level drops below 4.0 ppm.
6. As an additional precaution, Par Pool & Spa STRONGLY RECOMMENDS cleaning the solar cover (if equipped) with BioGuard® Stow Away® (contains quarternary ammonium compounds, which when used properly controls mildew).  Clean your cover with Stow Away® at least 2 times per season.

7. Using a preventive enzyme product such as NaturCare Enzymes consumes much of the food that bacteria needs to live on.

8. Using AquaFinesse Pool Water Care Tablets aids in removing & helps to prevent the build up of biofilms through out the pool system (surfaces, pluming lines & filter system).


Further preventive measures:
Enforce shower rules before entering spa or pool (helps to wash away any contaminants that could be on your body).
Maintain 1-3 ppm Free Available chlorine in residual spas or pools and 3- 5 ppm in commercial spas or pools.

Be sure to seek medical attention from a qualified doctor.  Do not self-diagnose ANY condition.  This page is provided for informational purposes ONLY.

For further information, please visit the
Center for Disease Control website.


Giardia (Giardiasis) & Cryptosporidium

Two growing health concerns in swimming pools & spas are Giardia (Giardiasis) & Cryptosporidium.

Both of these recreational water diseases (RWD) are causing much concern in public health departments around the country and in various parts of the world.

Consumers who are seeking clean, "healthy" water to swim in, either in their own backyard swimming pool or in a properly maintained public or semi-public swimming pool (clubs, schools, etc), are educating themselves to these concerns as well. They want to be better assured of "safe" treated water.

The most common symptoms to both Giardia & Cryptosporidium are:

- diarrhea

- gas and/or flatulence

- cramping

- stomach and/or intestinal discomfort

Anyone can be at risk of contracting either of these diseases which are parasitical in nature by accidentally swallowing water that has been contaminated through accidental fecal (bowel movements, poo, poop - sorry, had to make this understandable to everyone) contamination. 

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These accidents have caused certain municipalities around the country to prohibit children under the age of 5 years from using public swimming pools and/or water parks (basically targeting non potty trained children).  Fecal contamination can also come from "uninvited" animals that may enter the pool or even bird "fly-overs".


To make you aware of how important this issue is and why swimmers should shower before entering a pool, keep in mind that the average person has a "peanut" sized piece of fecal matter on their person at almost all times. Yuck!

Giardia & Crypto can live in human & animal intestines for periods of time, sometimes without manifesting any symptoms.  Incubation time is typically 1 - 2 weeks.  If you suspect infection, only a medical test (stool sample) performed by your doctor can verify this disease.

Giardia & Crypto are both parasites which have "shells".  These shells prevent normal treating by chlorine.  Both are highly resistant to even very high levels of chlorine (i.e.  - crypto can only be "killed" by exposure to chlorine at a level of greater than 20 ppm for longer than 24 hours continuously).

Some municipalities & states are recommending the use of Ultra Violet devices which, when used properly, can "sterilize" these parasites and render them unable to multiply.

Ultra Violet DOES NOT KILL the bacteria.

For more detailed information on either of these 2 recreational water illnesses, visit the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Be sure to seek medical attention from a qualified doctor.  Do not self-diagnose ANY condition.  This page is provided for informational purposes ONLY.


Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (PA).  This is a commonly occurring bacteria found in water and soil.  Listed as an "opportunistic bacteria" that can cause or lead to:

- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Dermatitis (Skin Rash or Pseudomonas Folliculitis)
- Respiratory System Infections (for example, so-called "hot tub lung"
- Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa) - please see your local doctor for treatment
- Other systemic infections

In swimming pools, a very likely cause of skin rash is Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA).

Pseudomonas feeds on oil & grease present in the spa water (mainly from body oils & skin treatments brought into the spa from bathers NOT properly showering prior to entering the spa or hot tub) and can multiply rapidly under ideal conditions (such as lack of proper sanitizing procedures).

Like it or not, we've got to discuss illnesses or physical reactions with swimming pool water.


Although there is a much greater chance of coming into contact with some of the physical reactions mentioned here in commercial pools such as hotels, water parks, condominium or apartment complexes, etc. your home swimming pool can still be a potential breeding ground for certain conditions...especially if normal care & maintenance isn't consistently performed.


So here we go. Let's start with the common stuff.

Recreational Water Illnesses... or stuff we don't like to discuss...