Swimming pools, which exploded in popularity a century ago, are supposed to be places to relax, but black Americans have long faced harassment and violence there.
The poolside confrontations keep coming.
This summer, a black boy was harassed by a white woman in South Carolina; a black woman was asked to provide identification by a white man in North Carolina; and a black man wearing socks in the water had the police called on him by a white manager of an apartment complex in Tennessee.
The encounters, some captured on video, have prompted widespread anger and resulted in consequences for white people involved. But they are hardly new: The United States has a long history of people of color facing harassment and racism at swimming pools.
Pools are supposed to be places to relax, but ever since they exploded in popularity about a century ago, they have served as flash points for racial conflict — vulnerable spaces where prejudices have intensified and violence has often broken out.
“That’s the most intimate thing,” said Greg Carr, chairman of Howard University’s Afro-American studies department. “I’m in this water, you’re in this water, it’s in me, on me.” Read More…..
When I was a child in Springfield, Mass., I lived about a six-minute walk from a beautiful, well-maintained, outdoor public swimming pool just inside the eastern entrance to Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. To get to the pool, I had only to walk through my friend Adam’s backyard, cross Trafton Road, pass through the park’s gate, head toward the hockey rink and listen for the sound of happy children splashing in cold, blue, chlorine-y water.Yet I was never among those children. My friends and I used the park, all the time, for tennis and baseball and basketball and pickup football. But never for swimming. For that, we biked the quick mile to the Jewish Community Center (my non-Jewish friends had J.C.C. memberships, too). The public pool was used by our black and Puerto Rican peers — boys we played baseball or basketball with, but never swam with. We didn’t know it, but we were part of a long history of socially engineered swimming, a story of American public works that began with progressive hopes but ended in de facto segregation. It’s an unfortunate history, one we should fight to undo, so that we can reclaim public, integrated swimming as an American summertime ritual.America’s earliest public baths and pools, built around the turn of the 20th century, were supposed to provide hygiene as well as recreation for the urban poor and working classes. These pools were not racially segregated. They did, however, separate men from women. For example, New York City’s first municipal pool, opened in 1906 at West 60th Street, drew from the Irish and black neighborhoods that it bordered, but women swam three days a week, men the other four. READ MORE…..
Photo Credit: George Panton/Water Safety Products
Pool Openings Delayed Due to J1 Visa Hang-Ups Pool management companies say foreign lifeguards are being vetted more aggressively, slowing down the visa process. By Nate Taylor
Some pool management firms ran into a hiring hitch as foreign students seeking work as lifeguards have been subjected to increased scrutiny in the visa application process.As a result, some pools failed to open by Memorial Day.According to media reports out of Virginia, a sign at one pool informed guests that it was closed because lifeguards could not get their visas cleared. READ MORE….
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A parasitic infection called crypto is on the rise in US swimming pools
by, Kevin Loria
Be careful when you go for a swim in the neighborhood pool this summer.The parasitic infection cryptosporidium — known as crypto — is on the rise in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The parasite is the most common cause of diarrhea linked to swimming pools and water parks, and it spreads when people swallow something that has come into contact with the feces of a sick person, such as pool water. The CDC says the infection can make “healthy people sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.”In 2016, there were at least 32 outbreaks in the country, double the number in 2014. In 2016, Ohio identified 1,940 people with crypto after observing as many as 571 cases annually between 2012 and 2015.The crypto parasite is hard to kill — it can survive the standard levels of chlorine and other pool disinfectants that kill most other germs within a few minutes. To get rid of crypto, the CDC recommends closing pools after contamination for an hourslong period of “hyperchlorination.” Keeping crypto out of a pool also means relying on people to be responsible about showering before getting in and staying away from the water if they’ve recently had diarrhea. But that doesn’t always happen — a recent survey by the Water Quality and Health Council found that 25% of adults said they’d swim within an hour of having diarrhea, and just over half said they didn’t shower before getting in a pool. The cryptosporidium parasite. CDCIn 2010, the CDC launched a DNA-fingerprinting tracking system for identifying crypto outbreaks. To avoid getting sick, the CDC recommends not swallowing any water while you swim — easier said than done, of course, but it takes just a mouthful of contaminated water to make you sick. Experts also urge people to rinse off before diving in and to have frequent bathroom breaks for kids. They also suggest changing diapers for young ones in a separate area away from the pool.And if you’ve been sick with crypto? Stay out of the water, please.
By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Mar 1, 2017 3:59 PM
A child swims through gallons of urine, according to science. (Getty Images/Imgorthand)(NEWSER) – About one in five Americans say they’ve peed in the pool. Even the world’s most famous pool-user, Michael Phelps, says “everybody” does it. Now scientists have finally figured out a way to quantify just how much urine is in our pools, and the results in Environmental Science & Technology Letters probably won’t please swimmers. A research team testing 31 pools and hot tubs in Canada found evidence of urine in every single one of them, Gizmodo reports. On average, there were 8 gallons of urine in a 110,000-gallon pool and 18.5 gallons of urine in a 220,000-gallon pool. According to the Guardian, the results were even grosser for hot tubs. One hotel hot tub was found to have three times the urine level of the worst swimming pool.Researchers figured this all out by measuring the levels of acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K, in pools and hot tubs, NPR reports. Ace-K is an artificial sweetener found in soup, diet soda, candy, yogurt, and much more. It doesn’t occur in nature and 95% of it passes straight through the body unchanged, making it a good indicator of urine levels in water. While urine itself isn’t harmful, it can react with chlorine to create “disinfectant byproducts,” which can be. Still, researchers say they aren’t trying to turn people off of swimming; they’d just like to remind everyone to please not pee in the pool. (That classic summertime pool smell? It’s pee.)
Swimming clubs in Halifax didn’t expect their training over the holidays to be on land, but that’s what’s happening to some as three busy pools are shut down at the same time.The trouble started at the end of October when a fire at the Sackville Sports Stadium closed its swimming pool indefinitely. Then Centennial Pool became off limits at the beginning of December as part of a planned closure to replace the bulkhead.Swimming teams were making do with the circumstances when another problem struck: the pool at Dalplex sprung a leak. It’s been closed since Dec. 13.”The clubs are really frustrated, to be honest,” said Bette El-Hawary, the executive director for Swim Nova Scotia. “It’s put them in a situation to their members that they’re not able to provide a service.”‘Begging and borrowing pool time’ READ MORE….