Pool and spa owners warned of disease risk

17 January 2019

As the weather warms up, pool and spa owners are reminded to make sure the water is properly treated and maintained to protect swimmers from the deadly amoebic meningitis.

Boy wearing floaties doing bomby in pool

Amoebic meningitis is a rare but fatal infection caused by Naegleria fowleri and can be contracted when either fresh or poorly treated water contaminated with amoeba enters the nose.

Amoeba typically grows in warm water temperatures between 28 degrees and 40 degrees Celsius. Therefore any warm, fresh water could potentially contain Naegleria fowleri amoeba.

The risk of amoebic meningitis can be reduced by:

  • staying out of dirty pools, spas, waterholes and dams
  • ensuring pools are kept clean, free of dirt and leaves, and are properly chlorinated
  • testing water in swimming pools at least twice a day
  • making sure pools that do not use a stabiliser contain at least two milligrams per litre of chlorine (four milligrams per litre where a stabiliser is used)
  • ensuring pH levels are kept between 7.2 and 7.6
  • keeping wading pools clean and only using the water once.

Learn more about amoebic meningitis.