The Head of Infectious Disease on Swimming In Your Pond

goodkarma_(5b)June 30, 2008

We have pondered this question on this forum in the past. Is it safe to swim in the pond? Today I had the privilage of asking this question to the Head of Infectious Disease Doctor of my Health System. He response:

That depends. "The questions that need to be asked are first what is the environment of the pond. What is the size? Is is frequented by wildlife? Is is filtered? Do dogs have access to it? Is is moving water? "

My response- For the most part let's consider this pond to be a man made liner pond with fish, occasional visits from racoons and birds, with it being filtered and the pond water volume being turned over every hour, no chlorine, and with only fish and occasional frogs as the inhabitants.

The doctor responds "The main concern would be for leptosprirosis, a disease caused by dog urine in the pond. We see a few of these cases every year. Stagnant water is also a concern."

Me- What about filtered ponds that are above ground,or slightly about ground that are not exposed to run off or to dog urine?

The doctor responds: "A pond that you describe that is filtered, that is not stagnant water, without signicant debris, without exposure to dog urine or to frequent wild animal visits would not pose a significant risk to your health".

So that is the skinny on skinny dipping in my pond.

Take it or leave it but I for one am finally reassured that there are no SIGNIFICANT health risks for me to swim in my pond.

Disclaimer: I do however want to caution those with diabetes, chronic health issues, and those with DIRTY ponds that this conversation may not apply to them and the doctor was speaking to me on a personal level and this conversation does not guarentee or imply any health guarentees for anyone who chooses to swim in their or other peoples ponds. To do so is at your own risk.

Regards,

Lisa

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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Thanks Lisa for the info. I still don't have enough nerve to get into my pond. I'm afraid I won't be able to get out. It sure it tempting when the temps are in the 90's though.

I didn't forget you asked for current pics of my fish and pond. Don't know if you got a chance to see my recent post (it's on page 5 already). I am linking it here in case you didn't.

Jenny

Here is a link that might be useful: Current fish and pond pics

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:56AM
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pond_dragon(5b Imperial, Mo)

Thanks for posting that.

I'm in my pond at least once a week and sometimes up to my neck. I have worked in/around the pond for hours before showering and so far no infections or getting sick from it. But that doesn't mean it won't ever happen. I do feel better now about getting in there.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:17AM
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derrickm

I don't worry about going into my pond when I have to. I was in a heck of a lot worse when I was a kid!! LOL....people have become so wimpy these days! ;)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:15PM
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tuder96

Interesting I have been known to get in the pond, snorkle to take some picts and a few weeks ago broke out in little red itchie bumps that went away and it doesnt happen any more

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 4:05PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Thanks for the info. That is pretty much what I thought with a couple of caviats. The first is to be aware of the critters that visit and make sure the area around the pond is kept clean. Those raccoon roundworms are not funny. If you find fresh scat, remove it inside a sealed plastic bag and forgo the swim that day. I don't know how to sanitize the area but I'm sure it is on some site somewhere. I just don't have time to look for it right now. The second is to make sure there is someone with you or very close by who will respond to loud splashes and possible curses. The liner gets really slippery. Happy swimming, Sandy

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 4:18PM
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kalevi

Do you ever swim in a river or lake? As long as your pond has a running filter (mechanical or bio) and is healthy, it is pretty much the same as swimming in a lake or river.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:21PM
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frankielynnsie(7B)

I have gotten in mine on occasion. The only thing I don't like is the leeches.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:38PM
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timbersmith(6A)

My pond isn't big enough to really "swim" in, but I don't hesitate to get in the water for whatever task requires it. Just throw on a swim suit and get to work, though I do try to keep my head above the water at all times.

Hell, I've voluntarily swam in the Ohio River, and it's a pretty safe bet that the river is worse than my pond.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:07AM
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riverspots

Gee, I don't agree with his comment at all. Your pet dog won't be a problem if it gets its annual distemper+ shot that has a leptospirosis component. Around the Middle Atlantic states, lepto is rarely seen and when outbreaks do occur, they're usually linked to city rats.

On the other hand, commercially raised fish can carry mycoplasm, and visitors, like heron, may introduce blue-green algae. Both can cause serious skin infections in humans. I stay away from pond water if I have open wounds and always wash skin after handling pond water or plants.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:59AM
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goodkarma_(5b)

Riverspot- You don't have to agree. It is a free country. :) But......we are talking about an experienced, well trained, infectious disease doctor for a major health sytem that include 3 major hospitals with 4 joint venture hospitals. So I tend to think he may know what he is talking about. Just sayin........:)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:02AM
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bluelake(8)

That was an interesting read! The original post and then the follow ups. I NEVER hesitate to get into my pond. I have my hands in there just about every day, up to my elbow. When I'm done, I never feel compelled to go wash my hands right away! The 1-3 times per year that I have to fully get into it, I love it. The fish play, I play and get the items out, or repair this or that. Even then I don't run and take a shower. However, my pond is crystal clear with the exceptions of some string algae. I see clear liner when I look down.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 1:40AM
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hecht7_hotmail_com

We just bought a trailer by a fairly big pond. I'm itching to beable to swim in it but don't know if it would be safe to do so. There are a lot of Canada Geese around and in the pond and some ducks. Also a lot of Geese excrement all around the pond. Does anyone know if it is still safe?? It is a man made pond with still/stagnant water. The size I estimate 500 meters long by 50 meters wide.
Thank you for any response.
Bettina

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:37PM
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groundbeef(5)

@ Bettina

I think you answered your own question.
1. Stagnant Water
2. Full of Goose/Duck crap.

Sounds like a great place to swim if you are looking to get really, really sick. I can only think that perhaps a sewage treatment pond might be worse. Maybe.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:21AM
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