Coronavirus and my swimming pool!

The water in most swimming pools contains chlorine, a chemical which can kill viruses. So it should be safe to use a swimming pool as long as it is properly chlorinated.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive, essentially the equivalent of the Department of Health & Human Services in the United States, confirms that coronavirus cannot be transmitted in drinking water and swimming pools, provided these mediums are properly chlorinated.

Per Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Center, the following detailed specifics are minimally required to sufficiently inactivate COVID-19 virus in chlorinated drinking water and swimming pools:

  • For Drinking Water chlorination, ‘current recommendations’ is taken to mean a Ct value of at least 15 mg.min/liter-15ppm (for example exposure to 0.5 mg/l - .5ppm free chlorine for at least 30 minutes).
  • For Swimming Pool chlorination, operating to ‘current recommendations / best practice’ means maintenance of a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0 mg/l -1ppm (depending on pool type and disinfectant used).

Of all the organisms that threaten the purity of water supplies and swimming pools, cryptosporidium requires the highest dose of chlorine to be inactivated.  

Public Pools you could still catch the virus from an infected person in a changing-room or building if they contaminate surfaces.  Please stay home when you are sick, and away from the pool.

Always test the water before you swim.