Recreational Water Illnesses -
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (Aurigenosa)
This is a commonly occurring bacteria found in water and soil. Listed as an "opportunistic bacteria" that can cause: Urinary Tract Infections.
The rash that you see below
is NOT an "allergic reaction" to chlorine or bromine. It is true that some (and
we mean a very few) people may be hyper-sensitive to chlorine or bromine, but
will normally not result in lasting symptoms as shown below. Click here for
In Spas & Hot tubs, a very likely cause of skin rash is Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA).
Dermatitis (Skin Rash or Pseudomonas Folliculitis)
Respiratory System Infections
Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa) - please see your local doctor for treatment
Other systemic infections
Pseudomonas feeds on oil & grease present in the spa water (mainly from body oils & skin treatments brought into the spa from bathers NOT properly showering prior to entering the spa or hot tub) and can multiply rapidly under ideal conditions (such as lack of proper sanitizing procedures).
For this reason, it is necessary to
Purge, Drain &
Refill your spa on a regular basis, regardless of the condition or
appearance of the water. Purging helps to remove most of the accumulated
biofilms from the
spa's surfaces where PA can hide & thrive. Click on the aforementioned links for
In swimming pools, PA can be found on various areas such as pool coping,
waterfall edges, ladder steps, swim-outs, etc.
PA infects the hair follicles on the body.
If infected, you will notice the following characteristics of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa:
Itchy rash 8 to 48 hours after contamination.
Perform the following procedure to treat the infected spa or hot tub:
Rash can occur on arms, legs or trunk of body.
Rash disappears 7 to 10 days without treatment.
Purge, Drain & Refill the spa in preparation of a Hyper-chlorination treatment.
Be sure to seek medical
attention from a qualified doctor. Do not self-diagnose ANY skin or health
condition. This page is provided for informational purposes only.
Drain the spa and refill just above the jets.
Remove the filter and soak in a solution of chlorine and water during treatment. (2 Tbsp of Chlorine/5 gallons of water)
Shock with four times the normal dose of Stabilized Chlorinating Granules.
Turn on the jets and circulate for 2 - 3 hours. The bacterial growth usually builds up in the lines, so it is necessary to flush them thoroughly.
Drain the spa again and refill with fresh water.
(such as SpaGuard®
Filter Cleaner®) and
/ or replace the filter .
Rebalance spa and shock. Do not enter spa until sanitizer level drops below 4.0 ppm.
As an additional precaution, Par Pool & Spa STRONGLY RECOMMENDS cleaning the underside of the spa or hot tub insulating cover with
BioGuard® Stow Away® (contains quarternary ammonium compounds, which when used properly controls mildew). Clean your cover with Stow Away®
whenever you drain, clean & refill your spa or hot tub.
- Using products such as
AquaFinesse will continually remove the
about 99% of bacteria lives.
Products such as
Naturally Pure Spa, contain natural enzymes that naturally "eat
up" the greases & oils that feed the pseudomonas bacteria.
- Follow the
6 Keys of
Spa Care for prevention.
Treatment of Swimming Pools is
similar. Regularly clean by brushing & thoroughly wiping the suspected
areas with approved cleaners or sanitizers (i.e. chlorinated pool water).
here for Swimming Pools.
Enforce shower rules before entering spa
Maintain 1-3 ppm Free Available chlorine in residual spas or pools and 3- 5 ppm in commercial spas
For further information, please visit our
Kenneth Todar, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Bacteriology
Image courtesy of Univ. Iowa Health Sciences, Copyright DermNet.com.
For further information, please visit the
Disease Control website
If you still need help, here's how to
store hours): Shelton 203-377-0100