A new study published on Thursday by the Center for Disease Control found a lot of poop in public pools.
The study tested water samples for genetic material and microbes from public pools in the metro Atlanta area. Results found that 58 percent of the samples tested positive for fecal contamination.
“It’s important for swimmers to protect themselves by not swallowing the water they swim in and to protect others by keeping feces and germs out of the pool by taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea,” Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement.
The study notes, “each person has an average of 0.14 grams of fecal material on their perianal surface that could rinse into the water.”
The water samples tested positive for E. coli, a bacteria found in the human digestive tract and feces. This can be caused by someone pooping in the pool or if someone doesn’t shower before entering the water.
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Feces aren’t the only bacteria found in public pools. Pseudomonas aeruginosa which causes skin rashes and ear infections were found in 59 percent of the samples.
The CDC recommends that swimmers don’t go in the water when they have diarrhea, to shower with soap before swimming and to take bathroom breaks every hour to prevent water contamination.
Public pools aren’t the only places where poo has been found. Before the London Olympics, a floater was found at the London 2012's Aquatics Center during the 100-meter butterfly, sportspickle.com reports.
"At first, I thought maybe it was just a leaf or something, but then I went over to check, it definitely was a big log of poo," Tommy Holt, a lifeguard, said.
Swimmers were pissed. "I've been working my whole life for this," Canadian swimmer Mark Riley said. “I want a medal, but I don't want it enough to get feces particles in my mouth."