Legionnaires’ Disease & Your Pool or Hot Tub

You may not have to worry about COVID-19 in your pool water, but Legionnaires’ disease is making a comeback.

Did you know that each year between 8,000–18,000 people in the US are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease? Legionella, the germ that causes Legionnaires’ disease, is naturally found in water. Pools and hot tubs in Arizona are especially susceptible to Legionella contamination, given our warm summer months.

A person can get infected with Legionella when they breathe in steam or mist from a contaminated hot tub.

High water temperatures make it difficult to maintain the proper disinfectant levels necessary to kill germs such as Legionella. To protect yourself and your family from infection, be sure your pool or hot tub has the correct disinfectant and pH levels.

Pool and hot tub testing / regular maintenance:

  • Purchase new pool test strips if yours are expired
  • Check the hot tub water for free chlorine (2-4 ppm) or bromine (4-6 ppm) and pH levels (7.2-7.8)
  • Check and correct levels that are out of range
  • Check levels before each use if the pool or hot tub is used by several people
  • Remove slime and biofilm by scrubbing and cleaning
  • Replace the hot tub water filter according to manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Replace hot tub water as necessary

You can learn more about proper pH and disinfectant levels on the Chlorine & Salt Values page.

Source data and quote: CDC.gov