Most dead animals in pools do not pose a health risk to swimmers. If you find a dead animal in the pool, following the simple removal and disinfection steps below will help ensure healthy swimming in the pool.
Many types of domestic and wild creatures — including, birds, mice, rats, snakes, frogs, and bats — are commonly found dead in pools.
Do dead animals in pools pose a health risk to swimmers?
Most dead animals in pools do not pose a health risk to swimmers. Many germs from animals infect only those animals, though a few of them can infect people.
Most germs carried by animals are killed by chlorine within minutes in a well-maintained pool. However, to help ensure healthy swimming in a pool where a dead animal has been found, it is important to follow these simple steps to remove the animal and disinfect the water.
What should I do if I find a dead animal in the pool?
- Close the pool to swimmers
- Use a net or bucket to remove the dead animal from the pool
- Dispose of the creature in a plastic bag and tie it securely
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately
- Raise the free chlorine concentration to, or maintain it at, 2 parts per million (ppm); maintain the pH levels at 7.5 or less; keep the temperature at 77°F (25°C) or higher. The free chlorine and pH should remain at these levels for 30 minutes.
- Confirm that the filtration system is operating properly during this time.
- Disinfect the item used to remove the dead animal by immersing it in the pool during the 30-minute disinfection time.
These cleaning and disinfection steps are for animals commonly reported to be found dead in pools. Lambs and Kids may from time to time drown in your pool – we have seen it here in Cyprus. They are often infected with Cryptosporidium, a chlorine-tolerant germ, and could pose a health risk to swimmers if found dead in a pool. After removing a dead lamb from the pool, a professional must come to hyperchlorinate the water. Contact us for this specialist service.
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