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Aims: Ideal water for swimming should meet the portable water standard by being transparent, odorless, and tasteless. However, these qualities can be affected by the presence of infectious agents which directly or indirectly contaminate pool water. This study aims at monitoring the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and protozoa parasites) and pH associated with swimming pool water.
Study Design: A random sampling technique was adopted to select the five (5) swimming pools for the study based on accessibility and visitation.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Rivers State between March 2016 to August 2017.
Methodology: Five (5) outdoor swimming pools attached to hotels in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria were randomly selected for the study. Water samples were aseptically collected in duplicates and analyzed for total heterotrophic bacterial count, total heterotrophic fungal count, protozoa and pH using appropriate techniques.
Results: The results show that swimming pools with sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate had a mean THBC range from 4x101 cfu/ml - 1.58x103 cfu/ml, mean THFC, 0 cfu/ml - 8x101 cfu/ml and mean pH, 5.9-6.4; for samples without sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate, the mean THBC ranged from 0 cfu/ml - 9.2x101 cfu/ml, mean THF, 0 cfu/ml - 8x101 cfu/ml and mean pH, 5.6-6-2. Protozoa (parasites) were absent in all water samples analyzed. The results further reveals that 95.9% and 100% of the swimming pools samples failed to the meet the <100 cfu/ml and 7.0 – 7.8 World Health Organisation Standards for THBC and pH respectively. The bacteria identified are Bacillus spp., Escherichia coli, Stapylococcus aureus while the fungi identified are Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp. and Penicillium spp.
Conclusion: The study finds the levels of THBC in the samples with sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate, the presence of Escherichia coli and the pH range a threat to health of bathers. Therefore, the owners should ensure routine decontamination and assessment of water quality.
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