What Should I do if a Dead Animal is in my Pool?

Oh no! There’s a dead animal in your pool!

Don’t panic. There are ways to disinfect your pool to ensure that swimmers are not exposed to disease-causing germs. Here’s a step by step guide:

Get everybody out of the pool

If there are people swimming in your pool, it is best to have them get out of the pool immediately. This is a safety precaution in case the dead animal poses certain health risks.

Identify the dead animal

Various animals are commonly found dead in swimming pools. This includes skunks, raccoons, birds, gophers, rats, snakes, mice, bats, and frogs.

While most animals do not pose serious health risks to swimmers, some carry certain diseases. A raccoon, for example, might have Baylisascaris, a type of worm that can spread to humans.

Most of the germs carried by dead animals commonly found in pools are killed by chlorine within minutes. If your pool is well-maintained, there is not much to worry about. However, you should still continue with the steps below.

Put on disposable gloves, get a net, and garbage bags

Remove the dead animal from the swimming pool using the net and double bag it in plastic.

Call your local health department

Your local health department will give you information on the dead animal and what possible germs and diseases it carries. While you will do the disinfection process, it still pays to know more about the germs that you might have to deal with.

Start the cleaning and disinfection process

To do this, you must raise the chlorine concentration to two parts per million. The pH levels must be at 7.5 or lower and the temperature must be at 77°F or higher. These levels must be maintained for 30 minutes.

Check your filtration system

Make sure that the pool’s filtration system is working properly while you are in the process of disinfecting pool water.

Clean the net

Get the net that you used for removing the dead animal out of the water and clean it by immersing it in the pool. Immerse it for 30 minutes during disinfection time.

It is also advised that you take a look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Hyperchlorination procedure to kill Cryptosporidium.