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The Battle for Clean Pool & Spa Water in America

People enjoy recreating in swimming pools, waterparks, water playgrounds, and hot tubs now more than ever. Not long ago waterborne illness wreaked havoc in the United States. The introduction of chlorination and other treatments in the early 1900s dramatically reduced infections and has been recognized as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Despite our best efforts, we can do better when it comes to clean pool & spa water in America. 

New challenges like aging infrastructure, chlorine-tolerant and biofilm-related pathogens, and increased recreational water usage help bring attention to the issue. Waterborne illness caused by improperly treated pool and spa water is a real problem.

📖 Get nervous talking to customers about recreational water and sanitizers? Check out this online resource with helpful terms.

A report published by the CDC in January sheds light on the massive burden and related healthcare costs associated with 17 infectious waterborne diseases in the US. The impact it has on our healthcare system – one already tapped from the pandemic – is a bit alarming. 

Understanding this burden could help encourage swimmers to adopt new behaviors and preventive measures. People might get on board with pre-swim hygienic activities when they have a better understanding of why it’s so important. We discuss this more below.

From the CDC Report

– Over 7 million waterborne illnesses occur in the US every year, adding more than $3 billion to the US healthcare system’s bloated budget.

Biofilm-associated pathogens (including Pseudomonas and Legionella) caused most emergency-related incidents, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total cost.

– Due to its chlorine-phobic nature and a low infectious dose, Cryptosporidium has emerged as the major cause of outbreaks for treated aquatic venues. 

– Where previous studies were unable to, this report presents quantifiable data concerning the burden of waterborne disease that includes “gastrointestinal, respiratory, and systemic disease; accounts for underdiagnosis; and includes all water sources and exposure routes.”

– These findings indicate a changing landscape of waterborne disease in America and help to place much needed focus on the dangers surrounding biofilms.

Recreational Water Disinfection

The good news? Intervention is relatively simple compared with other public infectious diseases. Treated recreational water systems are designed to prevent intestinal illness caused by micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. 

As a leading manufacturer in the pool and spa industry, CMP is laser-focused on sanitizer technology that helps create the safest, cleanest, clearest recreational water possible. 

One of the most important things about maintaining a pool is to keep the water clean, safe and healthy. Using the right products to keep the water clean and clear is key. It’s equally important that we take responsibility in providing solutions that are proven to work. Next Gen AOP™ addresses this need with an updated design that gives you everything you need in a high-powered advanced sanitizer. 

Look for products that are third-party verified and tested. It means you’re getting products that you can trust are providing the level of safety and efficacy customers count on. These products meet exacting requirements, so you can ensure your customers the best solution for their backyard. 


Swimmers Have More Power Than They Realize 

Here is some great news! There are simple actions that each swimmer can take themselves to make the swimming experience safer. These items are all easy to do and can make a big difference.

Healthy swimming behaviors as outlined by the CDC in this helpful resource, adds another level of protection to swimmers from harmful germs. We can all help keep everyone protected by following these easy steps.

Step 1. Stay out of the water if you have been sick! 

– Not to be graphic or gross anyone out, but would you knowingly invite someone with an upset tummy into the tub with you? Enough said!

Step 2. Stay out of the water if you have open cuts.

– An unbandaged open cut or wound (from surgery or a piercing) brings the risk of infection. If you do go in the water, use waterproof bandages to completely cover the cut or wound.

Step 3. Shower before you get in the water. 

– Ever jumped into the pool right after work, the gym, or a game? Showering before a dip is the single most effective habit swimmers can adopt to help prevent the spread of RWI inducing germs. And it’s recommended by the CDC, so it’s gotta be good right? 

– Rinsing off for just one minute prior to swimming can remove most of the dirt and contaminants on our bodies that “steals” all the chlorine in the water needed to kill germs.

Step 4. Avoid swallowing any water. 

– Even the smallest amount of Crypto-tainted water can make a person sick. Take regular bathroom breaks and change diapers often to help keep the water safe.

Deutsches Institute für Normung

In other parts of the globe bathing before a plunge is more “second nature” than here in the States. For example, facilities in Europe are equipped with mandatory cleansing showers that make it easy to rinse contaminants off prior to swimming. 

The Deutsches Institute für Normung Standard (DIN or German Institute for Standardization) is a mandatory set of rules applied during the design, engineering and operation of all commercial/ public pools in Germany that influences other national standards and regulations throughout Europe. Some say it’s decades ahead of the US with respect to pool water treatment and disinfection.

One difference is that their water treatment model takes a more holistic approach. The latest methods and concepts are synergistically incorporated to create some of the cleanest, clearest water on the planet. Another key difference is bather load which can be larger on average in the US. 

The Pool Pro’s Never-ending Battle

Well-maintained aquatic centers and water playgrounds are less likely to spread germs. As a professional, you are probably aware chlorine and other pool water disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly. To make matters worse, chlorine mixed with urine and sweat forms chloramines which “uses up” all the chlorine earmarked for germs.

Pool professionals and service technicians know these problems all too well. The constant battle for balanced, healthy pool water is real. In addition to monitoring combined chlorine levels in the water and treating the water when levels get too high, pool pros can take it a step further.

On that note, there have been talks lately about “zero chlorine” pools and a push to maintain extremely low levels of residual sanitizer. If we have to choose between safety and boasting the lowest chlorine levels, we choose safe water every time. If we keep chlorine at MAHC-recommended pool levels (1-3ppm for a residential pool) we can ensure swimmers stay safe.

The fastest way pool pros can help is to adopt the latest pool disinfection technology like Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). Next Gen AOP from CMP makes this simple with easy installation, simple service and smart feedback.

Pool owners want the cleanest, healthiest pool possible and they want it now. Pool pros want an easy-to-install system their customers are willing to pay for that works. We give you Next Gen AOP™.

Complete the form below to learn more about Next Generation DEL AOP and other 3rd party certified sanitizers made by CMP.


Find all available residential pool sanitizers at c-m-p.com.

For high-end or commercial water, CMP has a complete line of DEL Pro sanitizers, including the only Secondary Sanitizer certified Ozone systems. Visit cmpcommercial.com to learn more.

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