Week 7: Managing Environmental Health Risks: Bathing water

Hello again, readers!

The lesson of this week is about water. No, it’s not like the one we learnt last week. The water of this week is not potable water but bathing water. Meaning? It’s water used for bathing and swimming, not for drinking so don’t expect to drink this kind of water, okay? Good.

Bathing water can be divided into 2 types: (Outdoor) Bathing water and Pool water.

First, let’s talk about outdoor bathing water. This type of water is natural water (lake, river, beach, blah blah blah) and can be easily polluted with hazards like pathogens or discharges from sewage, nutrient inputs (which may lead to eutrophication and facilitate a massive growth of algae), Cyanobacteria, surface run-off, faeces,…. As a result, fever, diarrhea and vomiting or other severe health problems may appear on those who came in contact with this type polluted water. Okay that may sound like I’m making things up, there’s no way outdoor bathing water could be that bad right? WRONG! Don’t underestimate the danger of outdoor bathing water, especially if you are living in a bad environment. You know, in my country, nah that’s too big, in my city, most people don’t dare to bath in outdoor bathing water such as lake or river because those are really polluted. Just imagine, everyday, tons of sewage and garbage are thrown into a river, would you dare to bath in that river? ‘Cause that’s what happen in my city.

Next is pool water. Have you ever gone to a swimming pool? I’m sure that most of you have, at least once. Then do you know what type of hazards are there in the swimming pool? The picture below will show you.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho chemicals in pool, hot tub and spa water

Scary, right? Oh and don’t forget about the Microbiological hazards people brings to the pool when they come to use it, it can also cause direct impact on the skin, eyes and mucous membranes, or just put it simply, bad effect for your health.

However, don’t be too worry, there are ways to treat bathing water as well as laws for bathing water quality standards (otherwise nobody would dare to bath at all 😛 ).

In Europe, there are “Legal Obligations under the EU Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC:

  • Two main parameters used to monitor and assess the quality of bathing waters and to classify them:

– intestinal enterococci

– escherichia coli

  • Other parameters could be taken into account, such as the presence of cyanobacteria or microalgae.”

Moreover, bathing water is monitored yearly by Member States and base on their quality, bathing water are classified into 4 types: poor, sufficient, good and excellent. Therefore, you can find which place is suitable for bathing outdoor.

As for pool water, you can find your answer in this picture.

References and further reading:








That’s all for today I guess.

Alla prossima, ciao.



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