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There's A Dead Animal In My Pool, Help!


There's A Dead Animal In My Pool!

Every operator who has been working in a commercial pool or spa for any length of time has experienced it: They open the lid to the skimmer only to find a dead rodent, snake, or bird inside. Yikes! What do we do in this situation?? This week's article is going to focus on what to do if you find a dead animal inside your pool or spa. 


Is A Dead Animal In My Pool A Major Health Risk?

It is very alarming and gross to find a dead animal floating inside your pool or spa, but believe it or not, it is not as scary as one might assume. It may also be reassuring to know that finding a dead animal in your pool is actually a very common issue, so you don't have to worry that your pool going to turn into a Pet Cemetery of sorts. There are only a few instances, with very specific animals, that may be a larger cause for concern. The traditional rats, mice, birds, snakes, etc. can all be dealt with fairly easy. The following steps are recommended by the CDC in treating your pool or spa after finding a dead animal. 


Close Your Pool To Swimmers.

Again, there is no major health threat with a dead animal, but it is always wise to be sure to get all swimmers out until any potential pathogens from the dead animal can be dealt with. For this reason, it is wise to ensure that all swimmers exit the body of water while you are responding to the situation. 


Wear Protection

When dealing with a dead animal situation, it is always wise to wear gloves when interacting with a contamination site simply to prevent any disease transfer, however unlikely, that could occur. Simple disposable gloves will do the trick. Be sure to throw the gloves away after use. 


Use A Bucket Or Net To Remove The Dead Animal

It is always good to use a tool of some sort to remove the dead animal instead of your bare hands simply because it may be really gross to touch a potentially bloated dead animal. If the animal is inside a skimmer, you may even think about using something small like a cup to remove the animal, as it can be too tight of quarters in the skimmer to use a net or bucket. 


Double Bag The animal

Double bagging the dead animal helps when it comes to transporting the animal off the premises through the garbage or otherwise. This will also cut down on the stench that may come from the animal. 


Wash Your Hands

After you have removed the little creature and bagged it up, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water. Even though you used a tool and wore gloves while removing the animal, it is better to be safe than sorry in this situation and wash your hands just in case. 


Disinfect The Pool or Spa

When disinfecting, there is no need to hyper-chorinate the pool or anything extreme. In fact, the CDC recommends that you follow the same steps you would if someone accidentally deposited a solid formed stool into your pool. Those steps are as follows:

  1. Raise your free chlorine levels to 2ppm
  2. Maintain a Ph of 7.5 or less in your pool or spa
  3. Maintain a temperature of 77 Degrees or higher
  4. Make sure your filter is properly operating
  5. Submerge the tool you used for removal into the pool during this time as well
  6. Hold these conditions for 30 minutes.


Reopen The Pool 

This is a very painless process and once you have waited that 30 minutes, you are welcome to reopen the pool or spa. If you would like further details about the disinfection process you can click here to read more about disinfection processes and why the numbers exist the way they do. 


There's A Dead Raccoon In My Pool!

As we explored earlier, most dead animals pose no major health risk to swimmers, but if there is a dead raccoon that is found in your pool you will need to take far greater lengths to ensure your pool or spa is safe than you otherwise would. This is because raccoons carry a very deadly disease that can be easily transmitted to humans if humans are in contact with contaminated water. In this situation, be sure to click here to see exactly what CDC requires for treatment of a dead raccoon in pool or spa water. 

It is also important to note that these recommendations on this post are for any traditional animals found in a pool or spa (mice, rats, gophers, skunks, snakes, frogs, bats), if you have any further questions about other non-traditional animals, you can visit the CDC's website by clicking here or you can contact us by clicking here.  


How Do I Become A Pool Professional?

Responding to dead animals and treating the water is only one of the many challenges pool and spa operators face on a day to day basis. Making sure you know what to do in any given situation is crucial for you as an operator. Thankfully Pool Training Academy offers Certified Pool Operator® Classes year-round and close to you. We offer CPO® classes from the Denver Metro Area to San Antonio, Texas, Los Angeles, CA to Nashville, TN. Please click here to sign up for the class that will ensure you are the best pool and spa operator you can be.  


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