top of page

Health Protocols

Accidental Fecal Release (AFR)

AFR is a serious health hazard and there are protocols in place when this happens.

  • Solid fecal matter (what we experienced) requires a two hour closure with a minimum of 2 ppm free chlorine  

  • Loose fecal matter or diarrhea, requires a 30 hour closure as well as maintaining 20 ppm of chlorine at a 6.8 pH

    • This chemistry takes several days to recover from after the required closure time to dechlorinate and rebalance so uber serious to avoid!

  • If there is fecal matter in or around the pool, please alert the lifeguards or the board immediately so that we can take proper follow-up action.

Our response protocol is as follows:

  1. Close the Pool Area: As soon as fecal release is reported or observed, close the affected pool immediately to prevent further contamination and exposure to swimmers.

  2. Notify Swimmers: Use clear and audible announcements to inform all swimmers about the pool closure and the reason for it. Ensure that everyone is aware of the situation and understands the importance of following safety protocols.

  3. Isolate the Area: Cordon off the affected area to prevent anyone from entering the pool until the issue is resolved and the water is properly treated.

  4. Secure the Fecal Matter: Using appropriate protective equipment (e.g., disposable gloves, scoops, nets), carefully remove the fecal matter from the pool. This process should be done in a way that minimizes the spread of contamination.

  5. Disinfect and Clean: Thoroughly clean and disinfect the affected pool water and surrounding surfaces according to the pool's specific guidelines and relevant health regulations. This may involve using appropriate pool chemicals and following the pool's maintenance and sanitation plan.

  6. Test Water Quality: After the cleanup and disinfection process, test the pool water to ensure that the chemical levels are within the appropriate range and that the water is safe for swimming.

  7. Monitor and Retest: Continue to monitor the pool water quality regularly in the hours and days following the incident. Retest the water to confirm that the chemical levels remain appropriate for swimming.

  8. Consult Health Authorities: Depending on local regulations, it may be necessary to notify and seek guidance from local health authorities about the incident. They can provide additional guidance on appropriate measures to take and any necessary public health notifications.

  9. Educate Staff and Swimmers: Emphasize the importance of personal hygiene, including showering before using the pool, and the necessity of following pool rules and guidelines to prevent future incidents.

  10. Preventive Measures: Consider implementing additional preventive measures, such as more frequent bathroom breaks for young swimmers and adult swimmers, or requiring individuals with gastrointestinal issues to refrain from using the pool until they are symptom-free.

Remember that pool safety is a shared responsibility, involving both pool staff and swimmers. By following these guidelines and maintaining a proactive approach to pool hygiene, the risk of accidental fecal release and its potential consequences can be minimized.


As a parent of a young child, it's essential to take proactive steps to prevent accidental fecal release in a pool. By following these guidelines, you can help maintain a safe and clean swimming environment for everyone:  

  1. Bathroom Breaks: Ensure your child takes regular bathroom breaks, ideally every 60 minutes, to reduce the likelihood of accidents in the pool. Even if they claim not to need it, encourage them to use the restroom before and during pool time.

  2. Check Diapers Regularly: If your child is not yet toilet-trained and wears diapers, check their diaper frequently and change it in designated diaper-changing areas away from the pool.

  3. Swim Diapers: If your child is still in diapers, use swim diapers specifically designed for use in the water. Swim diapers are better equipped to contain solid waste and are less likely to cause leaks in the pool.

  4. Educate Your Child: Teach your child about the importance of not using the pool as a bathroom and encourage them to communicate when they need to use the restroom.

  5. Shower Before Swimming: Have your child shower with soap and water before entering the pool. This practice helps remove any potential fecal matter or contaminants from their body.

  6. Stay Hygienic: Emphasize the importance of good hygiene, such as washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before entering the pool.

  7. Be Mindful of Illness: If your child is feeling unwell, especially if they have gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach cramps, it's best to keep them out of the pool until they have fully recovered.

  8. Supervision: Always supervise your child closely while they are in or around the pool. This not only helps to prevent accidents but also ensures their overall safety.

  9. Follow Pool Rules: Adhere to all pool rules and guidelines set by the facility. These rules are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all swimmers.

  10. Lead by Example: As a parent, demonstrate good pool hygiene practices yourself. Your child is more likely to follow suit if they see you taking these guidelines seriously.  

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the chances of accidental fecal release in the pool and contribute to a positive and safe swimming experience for everyone.

bottom of page