A pool technician arrives at your property to perform routine service—weekly pool cleaning for residences, and service three to five times a week for commercial properties. You see the pool cleaner take various measurements and then add some liquids and powder chemicals to the pool water. You might be wondering, "Will this service keep my family safe from the virus?" "Is it more dangerous to have another person on my property?" "Is it safe and prudent to swim in my pool during this time?" "Should I do my pool service myself in this time?" “What is that stuff?” “Are those chemicals safe?”
The importance of pool cleaning during COVID-19: why this service is essential
Regardless of who does it, it is imperative to keep you pool properly sanitized and clean for many reasons that we will discuss. It is especially important during this season of COVID-19, not because the virus has been proven to spread in pools or spas but because of the ongoing sensitivity to sickness. Any "pooling" liquid of any kind that is untreated is a threat to your health and safety.
According to the CDC and local DOH, maintaining properly sanitized swimming pools and spas would be considered essential to public health. They further explain that having a body of water that is not being properly maintained would increase the health risk to the public. When pool water is not properly balanced, that’s when you run into issues like bacteria growth, the presence of microorganisms, and other “nasties” that can make you sick. Disease can be transmitted through dirty pool water—and that’s why chlorine and the pool chemicals we described here are absolutely critical for maintaining the health and safety of swimmers.
Can COVID-19 spread through pools and spas?
Thankfully, as mentioned above, there is no conclusive evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas, or water playgrounds. Yet the CDC further explains that proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
While there is ongoing community spread of COVID-19, there should be appropriate care taken both in and outside the pool, to protect yourself and others. Owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, or spas should follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.