Determinants of the microbiological characteristics of South Australian swimming pools

A. Esterman, D. M. Roder, A. S. Cameron, B. S. Robinson, R. P. Walters, J. A. Lake, P. E. Christy

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    A survey of 100 swimming pools has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of disinfection practices against various microorganisms and to check compliance with recommended chlorine levels and pH. Microbiological quality was assessed from densities of total coliforms, Escherichia coli, and pseudomonas aeruginosa, total colony counts, and the presence or absence of amoebae, including the pathogen Naegleria fowleri. Although a free chlorine residual of 1.0 mg/liter and a pH range of 7.0 to 7.6 are recommended by local health authorities, 41 pools had a lower free chlorine residual and 37 had a pH outside this range. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to test the association of field measurements with the microbiological data. The analysis demonstrated a strong positive association of free chlorine with bacteriological quality and the absence of Naegleria spp. No other field measurement was predictive in this regard, although the absence of all amoebae was associated with a relatively low water temperature and pH. Using a mathematical model derived from this analysis, it was estimated that 99% of pools would have acceptable bacteriological quality and 94% would be free of Naegleria spp. at a free chlorine residual of 1.0 mg/liter. However, at the mean water temperature (23°C) and pH (7.5) seen in this study, other amoebae would still be detectable in 500-ml samples taken from 40% of pools at this chlorine level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-328
    Number of pages4
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 1984

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Food Science
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    • Ecology

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