What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Pool

Pool Care Chapters

Nothing beats the excitement of taking a cool dip on hot summer days. But, as you dive into your backyard pool, you should beware that several dangers lurk beneath unclean pool water. Unfortunately, you may not be able to see all these dangers with your naked eyes.

Cleaning your pool with chlorine and other chemicals to ward off germs and contaminants is crucial. A dirty pool may likely spread viruses and bacteria to you and members of your household. The obvious signs of a dirty pool include algae growth and cloudy water.

What Happens if You Leave Your Pool Dirty?

One notable thing is that when chlorine in your pool water mixes with the less harmful waste from human bodies, such as dead skin, dirt, and sweat, the strength of the chlorine to kill germs decreases. This way, bacteria will spread throughout the pool, increasing your chances of infection.

Here are the diseases you could get if you swim in a dirty pool.

Respiratory Problems

If you have pulmonary issues or breathing disorders, you should ensure the water you swim in is safe and clean. Even the slightest contamination of your pool will lead to an infestation of certain germs, such as Bacterium Legionella. If you ingest this bacteria, you may end up with breathing problems.

Ingesting such bacteria may be fatal to pregnant women, young children, and people above 50. Additionally, if you have low immunity or suffer from chronic infections, you should be extremely cautious about this germy disease often associated with dirty pools.


At the mention of diarrhea, many would think it’s a disease only associated with eating something that’s gone bad. That’s not quite the case. The germs that cause diarrhea and cholera may contaminate the pool water and hamper your health.

Imagine swallowing a tiny amount of water infested by a diarrhea-causing germ. This small amount is enough to cause an infection. The dirty pool water can also have other disease-causing germs, such as:

These germs can stay alive for up to five days or longer.

Swimmer’s Ear

When swimming, it’s overly common to have water entering your nose and ear cavities. It’s temporary, as the water will eventually get out. However, some fungi and bacteria may build up if dirty water gets trapped in the ear canal or passageway.

Whereas most bacterial infections can disappear independently, they may cause terrible itching, pain, and bad swelling. Kids tend to suffer from these infections more than adults.

Skin Rashes and Itching

Pools and saunas are fantastic post-stressful day detoxification remedies but can turn dangerous if you use unclean water. Various pool germs and bacteria react with a swimmer’s skin, causing a bad, itchy rash. The germs, which thrive in dirty water, become more aggressive when exposed to high-temperature water.

It’s a problem more evident in contaminated or poorly cleaned swimming pools. Bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the germ responsible for the spread of swimmer’s itch and other related infections. 

The longer you stay in a dirty pool, the higher your chances of exposure. Usually, swimmer’s itch may progress into painful, often itchy, pus-filled blisters.

Tips To Keep Your Swimming Pool Clean

Cleaning your swimming pool often is the best way to make it look good and improve safety. Dirt and other contaminants contribute to algae, eventually destabilizing your pool water’s PH level.

Below are tested tips to help you keep your pool clean.

Deep Cleaning Your Pool

It’s not just enough to keep your pool clean by adding chemicals, skimming, or cleaning the filter.

For better results, you may also need to conduct other tasks, such as shocking the pool, scrubbing the sides, and vacuuming. 

While you may not often perform the later tasks, your pool still needs them. That’s the only way to eliminate the pest and human dirt that might have built up in the pool over time. You can also contact professional pool cleaners for such services.

Skim Your Pool Regularly

Your pool is bound to fill up with debris over time despite having a cover. This debris can look awful, breed bacteria in your pool water, and throw off your water PH balancing.

Skim your pool of all debris daily when it’s uncovered. Skimming is an easy part of pool cleaning, and anyone can do it. All you need to do is spot the debris and trash in your pool and scoop it.

Ensure Your Filter Is Functioning Properly

The main function of a pool filter is to maintain the cleanliness of pool water. Think of your swimming pool as a large fish tank. If the water is dirty, the fish will die.

Your filter should be clean, working perfectly, and not clogged. If your filter is compromised, repair it or buy a new one because it’s crucial in maintaining clean swimming pool water. You can also seek professional services for regular cleaning, maintenance, and repair of your pool filter.

Final Thoughts: The Importance of Keeping Your Pool Clean

A swimming pool allows you to relax during hot summer days. However, swimming in dirty water might do you more harm than good.

Dirty pool waters are often associated with an avalanche of diseases, such as respiratory problems, diarrhea, swimmer’s ear, and skin rashes. Always keep your pool clean and safe to protect you or your family from contracting infections.

The Pool Care Handbook & Video Course

by Swim University
This is an illustrated e-book with detailed videos and step-by-step instructions on how to best care for your swimming pool. 
© 2023 Pool Care Guide. All rights reserved.