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Half of Americans use swimming pools to rinse off instead of showers

Sometimes, chlorine just isn't enough...

ATLANTA — Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means barbecues and family time right beside the pool. 

However, a new survey found that fun in the sun for some leads to dirty water for others. 

According to the 2019 Healthy Pools Survey, 51 percent of Americans use swimming pools as a communal bathtub. In other words, instead of showering, people often get in the pool after a workout or to rinse off, the study found. 

Sixty-four percent of Americans said they do this, even though they know pool chemicals don't eliminate the need to shower before swimming. And 48 percent of people said they've never showered before swimming, according to the survey.

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“When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. “Rinsing off for just one minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body.”

As if dirt in the pools wasn't enough, 40 percent of Americans reported that they've peed in the pool as an adult. 

“Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming program. "The bottom line is: Don’t pee in the pool."

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Now, if you just ate beware, because 24 percent of Americans revealed that they go to the swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea.

“Pools are great places to have fun with friends and family,” said Jim Mock, Interim Executive Director of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. “A trained pool operator can get the mix of pool chemicals healthy and safe, and swimmers can help keep it right by swimming healthy.”

One in every five Americans said they've used a pool test kit to test pool water chlorine levels and pH, according to the survey. The Water Quality & Health Council are hoping that these numbers will increase since the council is offering free pool test kits through its 15th annual Healthy Pools campaign, according to the press release. Swimmers can use the kit to measure chlorine levels and pH in both backyard and public pools.

READ: It's not chlorine that turns your eyes red in pools