Occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia and the Relationship between Protozoa and Water Quality Indicators in Swimming Pools
There has been a rapid increase in the number of public as well as private swimming pools in recent years. This is because the general public is now much more health and fitness-oriented, and swimming is thought by many to be the perfect form of exercise. Assessment of the environmental and health aspects of some of Alexandria swimming pools was carried out through the present study. All the recorded temperatures during the present study agreed with the Infectious Diseases Regulations. As regards turbidity, although the annual mean values of most pools had shown compliance with the allowable limit of the decree, there were many violations of the limit values in some individual results recorded during the different months. Most of the residual chlorine results recorded at the different pools during the different months showed that the operators were adding the Cl2 in a haphazard way. The low pH values could be attributed to the addition of slug doses of Cl2 which hydrolyze, producing high concentrations of hydrochloric and hydrochlorous acids. The high incidence of recorded itching and redness of the eyes followed by ear infections was attributed to the exposure to excess chlorine, and to the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. As regards the awareness and practice to pool hygienic instructions, the low percentage of swimmers using head caps during swimming (30.1%) was mainly comprised of females. It could be concluded that the majority of the users followed some of the hygienic instructions, like showering, washing the feet before entering the pool, and wearing bathing suites instead of private clothes. The frequencies of health problems observed among users were related to many factors, like age, marital status, occupation, frequency, and duration of use of the swimming pool.