Background: Swimming pools can transmit contagious diseases such as; fungal disease, otitis, conjunctivitis and amoebic meningoencephalitis. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the level of microbial contamination and the physicochemical condition of the swimming pools. Materials and Methods: In this cross – sectional study, 200 water samples were collected from four swimming pools in Kashan, Iran. Temperature, pH and residual chlorine and turbidity of the pools were examined. Samples were concentrated through a membrane filter and sedimentation, to test for the presence of parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Results: The results of the study showed that the mean of the physicochemical parameters, except in temperature, was standard in more than 60 % of the pools. Average temperature was higher than standard. The highest chlorine level was recorded in summer. Coliform bacteria was found to be positive in 3 % of the samples. Prevalence of saprophytic and opportunistic fungi was 27 %. Twelve species of fungi were isolated; the most common were Aspergillus, Penicillium sp, Rhizopus sp, and Fusarium sp, and the highest fungi pollution was observed in the summer. Prevalence of bacterial contamination was 9 %; bacteria isolate included Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. There was a significant association found between fungal and bacterial contamination with residual chlorine (P = 0.014, 0.001). Conclusions: The results showed that there were no parasites, or pseudomonas in Kashan’s swimming pools, however, the prevalence of opportunistic saprophytic fungal contamination was relatively high. Such conditions may be attributed to a high temperature and insufficient water treatment. In addition, there is a need to monitor water quality and improve staff training to increase users’ knowledge and awareness of the risks.
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education: Most of the isolated fungi in the swimming pools can cause ear, eye and allergic diseases, therefore improvement the hygiene of swimming pools for control of microbial contaminations are recommended. Please cite this paper as: Rasti S, Assadi MA, Iranshahi L, Saffari M, Gilasi HR, Pourbabaee M. Assessment of Microbial Contamination and Physicochemical Condition of Public Swimming Pools in Kashan, Iran. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2012: 5(3):450-5. DOI: 10.5812/jjm.2478
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