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Ripples #69

Compiled and written by Lenny Giteck

Ripples artAre U.S. Public Swimming
Pools Full of…Uhh…Poop?  

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Swimming Program, urine is not the only bodily waste that swimmers in America’s public pools need to be concerned about. In the study, water samples taken from filters in Georgia public pools were tested for microbes such as E. coli, which is carried in fecal matter. The result? E. coli was present in 58% of the samples.

A vitals.nbcnews.com report on the study quoted Michele Hlavsa, head of the Healthy Swimming Program: “It is time to stop treating the swimming pool as a toilet. Nowhere else except for the pool is it acceptable to poop in public or pee in public. In other places if we did this in public, we’d be arrested.”

The study’s findings don’t necessarily indicate people are having “formed fecal incidents” (as the CDC calls them) in pools. Diarrhea is a major concern, however, and even in the absence of diarrhea, the small amount of fecal matter found on most people’s derrières can add up. That’s why it is so important for swimmers to shower before entering a pool, Hlavsa points out. From the vitals.nbcnews.com article:

“The average person has about 0.14 grams of feces on their rear end,” Hlavsa said. “If that rinses off into the water, the amount from one person might not be that much…Let’s imagine 1,000 kids go to a water park. They have as much as 10 grams of feces on their rear ends,” she said. “We are now talking about 10,000 grams or 10 kg. That translates to 24 pounds of poop in the water.”

Chlorine, it should be noted, doesn’t always kill waterborne pathogens immediately, so it is imperative that swimmers avoid swallowing pool water, Hlavsa advises.

To learn more about the findings of the CDC study, click here.


Ripples Classic: October 12, 2011

What Melissa Etheridge Taught
Brad Pitt in Her Swimming Pool

Veteran rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge recently told “Access Hollywood Live” that in the early ’90s, she trained Brad Pitt to perform a very important aquatic-related skill. The lessons took place in Etheridge’s backyard pool at her Hollywood home.

What was the skill? The butterfly stroke? Diving? Snorkeling? Wrong…wrong…and wrong. At the time, Pitt was up for a part in “A River Runs Through It,” and Etheridge taught him the fine art of fly-fishing.

According to AccessHollywood.com, Etheridge explained that she “grew up in the Midwest and loved to fish, totally a huge fishing and fly-fishing [fan].” How did the actor do? “Well, he got the part. He did great,” Etheridge said.

The Web site went on to report: “The former fly-fishing pals have lost touch in recent years, but it appears Brad still holds a special place in Melissa’s heart. ‘He’s a wonderful guy,’ she said of the leading man. ‘I haven’t seen him in years. Love you, Brad, wherever you are.’”


On behalf of Melissa and Brad, Ripples says…
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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