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Aquatic Micro Lab

Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/20/2017
Author Alexa Surmick
Title Aquatic Microbiology Testing in Water Associated with Swimming
Introduction EMSL offers culture testing of fecal indicator bacteria for recreational water as well as specialized testing.

Cinnaminson, NJ, June 20, 2017

During the summer months, people visit pools, lakes and rivers in order to find relief from the warm weather. However, many people are unaware that several environmental outbreaks are caused by swimming due to diseases that are spread via the fecal-oral route and transmitted by swimming in the same contaminated water.

In addition, several pathogens that are linked to skin infections can also be spread during swimming. Not only may person-to-person illnesses be present, the aquatic environment itself is home to a number of pathogens, especially when the water is heated by the sun. Furthermore, dry weather can cause algal blooms on stagnant water, which can produce natural toxins that can be detrimental to other organisms.

“A swimming pool or the swimming section of a lake is similar to sharing a bathtub with strangers where the water is never drained,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Although swimming pools should maintain proper chlorine levels, several pathogens are resistant to the chlorine levels that are present in pools. EMSL’s Aquatic Microbiology Division offers a number of testing services that can help to identify possible contamination.”

Some recommendations for safe swimming include:
  • All people should shower before entering the water to decrease the amount of skin bacteria as well as bacteria present on the skin after a bowel movement.
  • Do not swim while having diarrhea.
  • Babies and toddlers who are not potty-trained should wear special swimming diapers that will lessen, but not eliminate, fecal contamination of the water.
  • All people with temporary skin rashes should not go in the water.
  • Contact lenses should never be worn while swimming.
  • Try not to get water up your nose or swallow water.
  • Wear goggles when trying to see under water.


EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers culture testing of fecal indicator bacteria for recreational water as well as specialized testing for Cryptospridium, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria fowleri, P. aeruginosa, Salmonella, Shigella and Legionella by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for rapid identification of pathogens. To learn more, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.


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