A Swimming Teachers’ Association survey has revealed a quarter of public pool users do not take a shower before entering the water, with women being the biggest offenders. The survey, of more than 2,000 swimmers, also revealed that one in four people have urinated in a public swimming pool, with one in ten confessing they had done it deliberately; men aged 18-34 years were cited as the worst culprits this time. STA is one of the world’s largest swim teaching and lifesaving organisation, and delivers the highest quality training across four key business areas – swimming teaching, lifesaving, first aid and leisure management.
Other key messages from the STA survey are:
• 1 in 5 said they would return to the swimming pool within 48 hours of suffering a stomach upset
• More than half of respondents said centre managers do not provide sufficient hygiene information at the poolside
• STA produces free ‘Rules for Pools’ and ‘Rules for Clean Pools’ poster in response.
Roger Millward, Chief Executive of STA, said the findings from the survey should be cause for concern for any pool operator, adding that it demonstrated how crucial it is for the industry to educate the public on scrupulous hygiene management. “For decades, public health authorities have recommended the pre-swim shower,” he said. “Yet, our survey found that one in four pool users do not deem it necessary to shower before going into the pool. In our effort to improve pool hygiene standards we want to help the leisure industry “connect the dots” on this issue through education and ‘fit for purpose’ pool plant training,” said Mr Millward. Worryingly for leisure managers, one in five respondents said they would return to the swimming pool within 48 hours of suffering a stomach upset that included diarrhoea. In fact, 12% of respondents said they would go swimming the following day, four per cent said immediately, while three per cent said they would return before it had stopped. Mr Millward added: “Budgets are constantly being squeezed in the leisure sector, but this survey reveals that maintaining and operating swimming pools to the highest standards is essential. This in turn can, in fact, make the centres more cost effective. “It is incumbent that pool managers provide a safe hygienic environment in order to prevent the spread of diseases. We need to ensure clients know the hygiene rules and that staff are professionally trained in pool plant management so that they can maintain a safe hygienic pool operation.” STA has also produced free posters, Rules for Pools’ and a ‘Rules for Clean for operators to prominently display in the changing areas and poolside.
Swimming Teachers’ Association Tel. +44 (0)1922 645097 Email. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sta.co.uk