Section III. NATURAL SWIMMING AREAS
Bathing in streams, rivers, lakes, and salt waters presents special problems.
This is because the sanitary quality of the water cannot be controlled as it can in
swimming pools. Selection of a suitable bathing site, medical authority to inspect
swimming areas. The medical authority may authorize an environmental health
specialist to perform the actual inspection. The environmental health specialist must
know the local swimming facilities, possible health hazards, and then, is the main way to
ensure sanitation and freedom from dangerous pollution in natural bathing areas.
1-23. DISEASE HAZARDS
Organisms of the coliform group of bacteria, Entamoeba histolytica (a protozoa),
and the helminths causing schistosomiasis are the three primary health hazards found
in natural bathing waters. Since these three organisms are associated with human
feces and urine, dangerous contamination may be caused by sewage from
communities, military installations, individual dwellings, and other sources. In areas of
the world where human waste is used as fertilizer, these diseases are particularly
1-24. SANITARY SURVEY
A thorough sanitary survey including a bacteriological examination of each
proposed swimming site is necessary. The results of the survey and the bacteriological
examination enable the inspector to determine whether the site is acceptable. The
specifics of bacteriological sampling are discussed in paragraph 1-19.
1-25. CLASSIFICATION OF NATURAL WATERS
Natural water is classified according to the number of coliform bacteria present in
the sample. The classification system is shown in Table 1-2.
1-26. ACCIDENT PREVENTION
Drowning and accidents are a significant danger in natural bathing areas where
safety features cannot be built in as they can for swimming pools. However, accidents
can be reduced by following strict safety measures.
a. At least two lifeguard towers, four lifeguards, and one boat for each 1,000 feet
of beach is recommended.