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Recently, our sister publication, Aquatics International, addressed the question of whether chemically treated water was enough to disinfect shared pool items and surfaces near the pool. Aquatics operators raised the issue, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had stated that standard pool-water treatment should be enough to prevent the transmission of the virus.

On the public-pool front, the answer was a resounding "No."

I asked Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., and chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program about the issue as it relates to residential pools and spas. as some professionals have stated on their websites that the practice would work.

In a statement to PSN, Hlavsa said, "Chemically treated water in residential pools is not an appropriate disinfectant for frequently touched surfaces, toys and other shared items. People should still clean items between use with an EPA-approved disinfectant."

Not enough is known yet about the specific virus that causes COVID-19. Studies have not been conducted to determine whether disinfection can occur with the concentrations of sanitizer found in treated pool and spa water. And while the CDC believes treated water is safe from coronavirus transmission, that is largely due to the track records of other coronaviruses, which have been inactivated by 0.5 parts per million of chlorine and have a history instability in water.