& Recreational Water Illnesses

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in.  RWIs can invlove your stomach, intestines, skin, ears, respiratory system, eyes, or nervous system.  The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea.  Swallowing just a mouthful of water that contains diarrhea-causing germs can make you sick.  Other germs that cause RWIs can be spread by haviing contact with or breathing in mists of contaminated water.



  • The most common RWI (Recreational Water Illness) is diarrhea.  Swallowing water contaminated with poop that contains germs can cause diarrheal illness.

  • Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, Norovirus, and E. Coli.

  • People have an average of .14 grams of poop on their bottoms.  This poop can wash off swimmers' bodies and can contaminate the water with germs.

  • RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that enter the air from the water.


Go to the Center for Disease Control to learn more about recreational water fountains, pools, and water play areas:

28 South 100 East
Price, UT 84501
Tel: 435-637-3671
Fax: 435-637-1933

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