The survey, conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council, reveals that 35 percent of pool swimmers say they don't shower before going in a pool. Sixty-three percent of the respondents say they are unaware of illnesses associated with swallowing, breathing or having contact with contaminated pool water.
"Swimming is a fun and healthy activity for old and young alike. Proper water chlorination helps protect swimmers from germs that can make swimmers sick," Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says in a statement. "Unhygienic behavior brings germs into the pool and makes it harder for chlorine to do its job."
Unclean water can lead to diarrhea, respiratory illness and ear and skin infections, Hlavsa says.
The CDC urges pool users:
-- Don't swim when you have diarrhea.
-- Don't swallow pool water.
-- Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
-- Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
-- Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and poolside.
The survey was conducted from April 30-May 3 among a national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus/minus 3.1 percentage points.