Hygiene rules being flouted in outdoor pools

Swiss pool attendants are warning that water quality is suffering as swimmers flout the rules regarding showering and enter the pool with their underwear on.

Hygiene rules being flouted in outdoor pools

As the scorching temperatures continue – Friday was set to reach 37 degrees in some parts – outdoor pools are in big demand.

Google Switzerland reported that “outdoor pool” was the top heat-related search term in German-speaking Switzerland between the beginning of June and mid-July.

But many young people using the pools are reportedly failing to shower the sweat and grime off their bodies before they jump in.

“The fact most young people don’t shower before they enter the water is contributing enormously to a build up of bacteria and viruses,” Jérôme Amiet, who is in charge of Geneva’s outdoor pools, told the Tribune de Genève newspaper.

“It is important people shower – especially at these temperatures,” Manfried Schmid of the KSS Schaffhausen leisure centre, told the 20 Minuten newspaper.

Schmid says many people avoid the showers as they enter the pool.

But pool attendants are also concerned about a trend among men and boys to swim with their underpants on.

According to the 24 heures newspaper, “sagging” is a problem in pools in the canton of Vaud.

Pool attendants there have introduced a zero tolerance approach and are throwing out anyone caught with their underpants showing beneath their trunks, the paper said.

The underpants phenomenon is not limited to the French part of the country, 20 Minuten said, quoting pool attendants in Basel, Aarau and Zurich as saying they were also confronted with the problem.

Photo: Freibad Schachen

René Hächler, chief pool attendant at the Schachen pool in Aarau, said that despite warning signs his team typically caught 10 to 20 people in underwear on hot days, but it wasn’t possible to catch everyone. 

Manfried Schmid added that it could be hard to distinguish trunks with an inner lining from trunks worn over underpants.

However, he said water treatment processes were better than ever. “Despite everything we have very good water quality readings,” Schmid said.

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