Wideman Pools, LLC
2565 Hwy 67 So.
Festus, MO 63028
What types of dead animals are found in swimming pools?
Many different types of domestic and wild animals — including skunks, birds, mice, gophers, 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 carried by animals infect only those animals, though a few of the germs they carry 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 the simple steps below to remove the animal and disinfect the water.
What should I do if I find a dead animal in the pool?*
Follow these steps to remove the animal and disinfect the water:
- Close the pool to swimmers.
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Use a net or bucket to remove the dead animal from the pool.
- Double bag the animal in plastic garbage bags.
- Clean off any debris or dirt from the item used to remove the dead animal.
- Remove gloves and place them in the garbage bags.
- Close the garbage bags and place them in a sealed trash can to help keep wild animals away from the dead animal.
- 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. Pre-weaned calves and lambs 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 calf or lamb from the pool, decontaminate the water by following CDC’s Hyperchlorination to Kill Cryptosporidium [PDF - 1 page] procedures.
The Wideman Pool Team
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