Swimming pools with chlorinated water can kill the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In just 30 seconds under the right conditions, a British study said.
Imperial College London virologists analyzed the impact of the varying chlorine water concentrations on the virus.
Risk of COVID-19 Infection Very Low in Swimming Pools
The findings revealed that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in swimming pool water was very low.
According to researchers, the experiments were performed in high containment laboratories in London. Under safe conditions, the researchers were able to gauge the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells.
Mixing the virus with the chlorinated swimming pool water, findings show that the virus was inactivated and was no longer infectious. The virus's high dilution factor, researchers said, led to their findings that the chance of getting infected with COVID-19 in a swimming pool water was negligible.
In their research, scientists discovered that a concentration of 1.5 milligrams per liter of free chlorine and a pH between seven and 72 decreased the virus's infectivity 1,000 times in just half a minute.
Chlorinated Swimming Pool Water Effective in Killing COVID-19
Chlorinated swimming pool water has thus been proven more effective with a low pH level, further studies suggest after utilizing various chlorine concentrations and pH levels.
As such, researchers recommend a free chlorine concentration of 1.5 milligrams per liter and a pH level of 7.0.
The study findings would confirm current evidence that swimming pools are safe to use.
In an article published on the Hackensack Meridian Health website last year, chlorinated water was deemed potent in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"When the proper amount of chlorine is added to pool water, it kills germs, including viruses. The amount of chlorine in the water needs to be properly maintained in order for its disinfectant qualities to be effective," the article noted.
This comes as great news for people looking to take a dip after long quarantines and lockdowns amidst the looming COVID-19 threat.
Indoor Swimming Pools Reopen in England
In London, indoor pools have reopened, and operators were elated with the findings that should help bring back an influx of customers.
"We are excited about these findings as we prepare to restart our classes and plan to welcome back families, little ones, and customers to indoor swimming pools across the country," said Paul Thompson, founder of the Water Babies swimming school in London, which commissioned the study with Swim England, said in a Daily Mail interview.
Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England, the national governing body for swimming, water polo, open water swimming, and synchronized swimming, added in an Irish Sun report: "These findings suggest the risk of transmission from swimming pool water is low...and adds to the evidence that swimming pools can be safe and secure environments if appropriate measures are taken."
The findings have yet to be published in a scientific journal for peers to review it.
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