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Studies have previously shown that as many as one in ten swimming pools in the United Kingdom contain harmful parasites and bacteria. Moreover, at least 20% might contain inadequate levels of chlorine, which could make them ideal breeding grounds for these dangerous microbes.

However, this problem is not just limited to the UK. In 2010, a study from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at swimming pool safety inspections within the country and, after researching more than 121,000 of these, it was reported that 12% resulted in the pool being shut down due to safety reasons – with many containing ideal conditions for bacteria.

How do swimming pools become contaminated with bacteria?

Contamination of swimming pools usually begins with some form of organic matter entering the water, such as faeces, blood, urine, mucous, or skin cells.

If swimming pools are not adequately managed – for example, by not containing sufficient levels of chlorine – then pathogenic bacteria or protozoa might grow and propagate, leading to contamination and ultimately endangering swimmers and bathers.

Fortunately, there are a number of signs which could indicate bacterial hazards in swimming pools, such as:

  • Murky or cloudy water.
  • Debris in the water.
  • Foul smelling water in the pool.


Possible complications of unhygienic swimming pools



Cryptosporidium is a tiny parasite which can cause gastrointestinal illness. Although the symptoms can last for around a fortnight, any conditions are not usually life-threatening. However, it can cause serious health complications in people with underlying health problems or weakened immune systems.


Giardia is a serious illness which can be very difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of this condition include decreased energy levels, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and diminished appetite. Clinicians say that the giardia bacteria has a "face" when seen under the microscope.


Ecoli is a very serious intestinal infection which might be particularly harmful to children. In extreme cases it could cause permanent damage to the kidneys and other organs – it can sometimes even prove fatal.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

This infection can lead to serious respiratory symptoms, could affect urinary function, and cause vomiting. It is particularly threatening to those with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions.


This parasite can enter the body through open wounds or the eyes. It can cause pain as well as swelling of the eyeball and, in some cases, blindness.


Can I claim for a bacterial infection caused by a swimming pool?

Whether you have suffered a bacterial infection from a swimming pool while on a package holiday or at a UK hotel, gym, or leisure centre, you might be able to recoup lost earnings as well as treatment costs through the specialist personal injury solicitors at Seth Lovis & Co

If you would like to discuss a possible claim for compensation with one of our lawyers, please call us on 0370 218 4025. Alternatively, submit an online enquiry form and we will contact you at a convenient time to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

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