The majority of American adults (93 percent) say they won’t use someone else’s bath water, yet 68 percent skip showering before getting in the pool.

That’s according to a new survey on swimmer hygiene conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council. Swimmers who don’t shower risk bringing contaminants into the pool water that contributes to chloramines and unhealthy conditions.  

“Swimming is not a substitute for bathing. Too many people unknowingly treat the pool as a communal bathtub,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. “It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to shower before you jump in the pool to help keep swimming healthy for everyone ...”

The survey, conducted in April 2012 among 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18, also found that one in five respondents admit to peeing in the pool. That statistic is similar to the results from a WQHC survey conducted three years ago.

The WQHC is again making available this year free pool test strips so swimmers can check pH and chlorine levels using a simple, color-coded test strip. Free test strips can be requested at healthypools.org/freeteststrips.

The Water Quality & Health Council (WQHC) is a body of independent scientific experts, health professionals and consumer advocates who serve as advisors to the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association.