GUEST POST from Don – Pools are for the birds??

The other day I saw a Mallard duck couple swimming in a community pool.  They looked cute taking a quack dip.  But then, I began to think about it….

I don’t think I would want ducks swimming in the pool that kids swim in…

There are icky things.  Like, since it is likely that kids release urine and other super-bacteria-infused things in pools, how much worse if kids are slogging through duck do-do on the way to that same pool?  At exactly what point is there just TOO MUCH bacteria present, or, so much chlorine required that swimming should be outlawed!?!

Then there are more icky things.  Like the diseases that transfer from birds to people.  Several much-more-knowledgeable writers have listed some of those … including E.Coli, Salmonella (which I’d think would be something you catch from Salmon, but isn’t always), and Avian Influenza.

Other writers warn of the effects that pool chemicals have on the ducks.  Chlorinated water damages bird kidneys.  The ducks and their hatch-lings may die painful deaths from the stuff (which makes me wonder if it is just as dangerous for other vertebrates??)

It turns out that my wondering about chlorinated water is correct.  It is risky for humans to drink pool water.  The problem is not with going swimming occasionally as our bodies are incredibly resiliant.  However, if you are in the habit of taking a dip daily or weekly you should be extra careful to avoid ingesting the stuff.  I was amazed to discover that the chlorine does a superb job of killing bacteria in your gut, including the good bacteria.  Of course, those who also ingest probiotics and such may have some extra protection.

Speaking of probiotics, I have long wondered why they only put that in really gross stuff, like yogurt.  Why don’t they sell probiotic cookies or chips or bacon?  But, I digress.

So, as CUTE as it is to see Mallard ducks swimming in a community pool, it should be discouraged as quickly as possible, hopefully before the amorous couple begins to nest eggs.


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