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Does Chlorine Kill Coronavirus? Is My Pool Safe From COVID-19?

March 17, 2020

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News about Coronavirus and COVID-19 is everywhere. Many of the articles focus on the numbers of infected or fatalities. But few articles are being written about what can be done to curb the spread of this illness other than washing hands and keeping distance. Is there anything else we can do to curb the spread of COVID-19? As commercial pool and hot tub operators, what can we do to keep people safe?

During this time of uncertainty education is absolutely crucial. Education allows us to have some peace of mind, something to cling onto when the world feels like a confusing place. In this article, we want to discuss COVID-19 (Coronavirus), its relationship to chlorine, and what you can do to fight coronavirus at your property's pool. We will cover the following information:

  • Does chlorine kill Coronavirus?
  • Can I get COVID-19 from a swimming pool?
  • If so, how much chlorine do I need to kill coronavirus?
  • What else do I need to do to keep my pool area safe? 


Does Chlorine Kill COVID-19?

The short and simple answer is: YES, chlorine is great at killing COVID-19 as well as many of the other viruses in the coronavirus family. This means that as long as your swimming pool has chlorine in it, it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be found in your pool. This is also why we at Pool Training Academy stress in every class we teach and every operator we talk to the importance of maintaining good operating chlorine levels in your pools. 


Can I get COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from a swimming pool?

Again, the short and simple answer is, it is very, VERY, difficult to contract COVID-19 from a pool. It is so difficult, in fact, that many experts would venture to say it is impossible to contract coronavirus from the swimming pool itself, as long as the pool has a chlorine residual in the pool of 2ppm or higher. So, swimming pool water is safe from the spread of COVID-19 so long as it is disinfected. 

Furthermore, research has shown that at the writing of this article there have been zero documented cases of someone contracting COVID-19 from any surface or aquatic body of water. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, general transmission occurs through direct interaction with an individual who is infected or carrying the illness. But that isn't the total story.

Research also shows that coronavirus, or COVID-19, can survive on surfaces for a matter of minutes or up to a couple of days. So, to combat this, we at Pool Training Academy recommend that you chlorinate your pools and clean your facilities to CDC standards. These are the best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


How Much Chlorine Do I Need To Kill COVID-19?

According to the HPSC, as long as you maintain a chlorine residual of 1ppm, COVID-19 will be killed off in less than one minute. But should you be keeping your chlorine residuals at only 1ppm?

The latest research recommends that in a commercial facility you maintain a chlorine residual between 3.75ppm and 4.5 ppm. Pool Training Academy recommends you maintain your chlorine residual at 4ppm at all times to protect your guests from a plethora of potential pathogens that are trying to survive in the pool water.

But just because we have killed the COVID-19 in our swimming pools through the use of chlorine, that doesn't mean we can, or should, stop there. 


Keeping All Surfaces Clean From COVID-19

Keeping our wet areas, changing rooms, and facilities in general, clean and sanitized is of utmost importance. The CDC has set up recommendations for sanitizing and handling your facilities in an attempt to protect users and guests from the spread of COVID-19. By following these guidelines, as well as listening for local requirements in response to COVID-19 protocols, you can have confidence that you are mitigating the spread of coronavirus from your swimming pool and pool area as thoroughly as you can. 


How Do I Learn More About Swimming Pools? 

Operating a swimming pool is not as simple and straight forward as some make it seem. To safely operate and maintain an aquatic facility it truly does take more training than you can find on YouTube or read in an article like this. Thankfully you have options to help you become more knowledgeable about how to keep your swimmers safe. One of these options is taking a CPO Class with Pool Training Academy. Becoming CPO® Certified is one of the best ways to truly become a pool expert. And in many states this certification is required to operate a pool or spa. Pool Training Academy is the #1 CPO® Certification provider in the world and our classes are specially tailored to be fun, engaging, and most of all relevant to your needs. Click here to sign up for the next class in your area and learn everything you need to know to make your pool the best it can be.

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