In general, if a company or owner keeps their spa tub cleaned and disinfected with proper pH balance, then most bacteria will stay away and allow you to have a pleasant and stress-free time in a hot tub. But there are some things to check before you jump in. If you have had a busy week and feel like relaxing in a nice warm hot tub, here are some public or shared hot tubs no-nos to avoid.
5. Slippery or Slimy
Safe spas will have smooth sides but the lining should not feel sticky or slimy to the touch. This could mean there are signs of growth in the water and perhaps it has not been maintained with a proper disinfectant level.
4. Green Water
If the water is cloudy or slightly greenish, it could be from an unbalanced pH, meaning it needs to be sanitized. Cloudy or green water can be from too much algae growth, and probably needs a bromide or chloride sanitized pool chemical. “We often underestimate what it takes to properly run a hot tub or pool and maintain a chlorine level where it needs to be,” says Michele Hlavsa of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Swimming Programs.
3. Bacterial Growth
An imbalance of pH can cause more bacterial growth which can lead to serious health issues. If your skin or body orifices are exposed to this water it can cause rashes, like hot tub folliculitis, eye, and ear infections, norovirus, Legionnaire’s disease, a kind of pneumonia, or Cryptosporidium, a parasite.
2. Quality and Care of a Hot Tub/Spa
There should be daily quality maintenance checks done on these spas, checking for bacteria, algae growth, and pH balance. To kill bacteria in a hot tub, use chlorine-based sanitization methods. The spa tub, especially if in sunlight, should be covered with lids when not in use to prevent algae growth. Your water should not be hotter than 40 degrees Centigrade or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. If Sick, Do Not Enter a Hot Tub
If you are sick or have diarrhea, do not get into a hot tub; it is one way to spread sickness or infections. You should not stay in a hot tub for more than 15 minutes at a time; staying too long can make you dizzy, nauseated, or faint.
If in doubt, stay out and stay healthy. Go home and take a relaxing bubble bath in your own tub!