Swimming in open water can be pretty hard to resist. Let’s face it – the open sea, ocean waves or a serene lake are all too appealing for those who love to swim, surf or enjoy a dip to cool off.
However, this may not be such a great idea after a rainstorm.
At Life Saver Pool Fence, we want to keep you protected when it comes to all things associated with water safety. In fact, we’ve already discussed weather-related issues such as swimming during a thunderstorm. So today, let’s look at why swimming in open water after rain should be also avoided.
The Truth About Swimming in Open Water After Rain
When the rain slows down, you may be tempted to hit the waves right away. The truth is, open water is more likely to be polluted after a storm. This is often due to water running off of lawns and other surfaces that may contain waste and pesticides. Water that drains onto the beach or open water areas may also carry animal run-off or overflow from sewage treatment systems.
The post-rain pollution can expose swimmers to bacteria and pathogens that can make them ill. Though this typically doesn’t involve life-threatening diseases, it can include viruses, infections, gastrointestinal problems and more. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, children and the elderly are most likely to be affected by these pollutants. However, anyone can get an infection simply through contact with contaminated water.
Avoid Illness After Swimming in Open Water After Rain
To avoid falling ill after a post-rain swim, you should avoid putting your head under water. Eye contact with, or swallowing, any of the polluted water can also increase your risk of getting sick. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands when you get out of the water, especially before eating. However, the most important way to avoid an ailment is to avoid the open water altogether after a storm. Many coastal areas advise swimmers and surfers to avoid swimming in open water for 72 hours after it rains.
While you may not be able to hit the beach right away, there isn’t much harm in swimming in your pool instead of swimming in open water after rain. Be sure to clear debris from your pool with a skimmer, ensure that the water level hasn’t gotten too high due to the rainfall, and check the pH balance of your water – then jump on in! In the end, it is worth listening to the advisories that recommend a 72-hour wait in order to avoid getting sick, but you can still have fun in the pool!