Special Issue "Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and One Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Athena Mavridou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medical Laboratories, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Interests: water quality; water microbiology; recreational waters

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recreational water activities offer substantial benefits to health and well-being. According to “WHO Guidelines for Safe Recreational Water Environments”, swimming pools, beaches, lakes, rivers, and spa waters provide environments for rest and relaxation, physical activity, exercise, and fun. Yet, they also present risks to health. Today, procedures set out by public health services based on solid data, risk assessment, and modelling are required in order to combine pleasure with safety in such waters. Each water body has its own identity and requires handling in line with its particular characteristics, which depend on the specific water parameters, the environmental factors of the geographical area in question, the human activities around the body of water, and sociological and human behavioral factors. Thus, to study recreational water environments, the scientific community and public health staff and structures must respond to both individual and complex challenges, including public awareness and education. The procedures and processes are far from simple, and the COVID-19 pandemic adds a further challenge.

This Special Issue invites research articles on all the aforesaid aspects of studying, handling, and managing recreational water bodies. We look forward to your contributions, which can address any one of these themes, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.

Prof. Dr. Athena Mavridou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • recreational waters
  • pathogens
  • COVID-19
  • swimming pool
  • bathing waters
  • spa waters
  • risk assessment
  • disinfection
  • modeling
  • regulations

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Viral Cutaneous Infections in Swimmers: A Preliminary Study
Water 2021, 13(23), 3401; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13233401 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) and warts are common viral infections of the skin. Data regarding the prevalence of MC and verruca in swimmers are very poor and lacking in the literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of Molluscum Contagiosum [...] Read more.
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) and warts are common viral infections of the skin. Data regarding the prevalence of MC and verruca in swimmers are very poor and lacking in the literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of Molluscum Contagiosum (MC) and warts cases among young competitive swimmers participating in Greek swimming clubs. Of 244 swimmers enrolled in this study, 12.3% reported MC and 43% warts, during their swimming career, diagnosed and treated by dermatologists. There was no difference between sexes for MC but diagnoses of warts were higher in females. Axillae and trunk were the most common sites of primary infection for MC but warts mainly appeared on the soles. The incidence of MC and warts in swimmers who use outdoor facilities was higher. In our study, the incidence of warts and MC in Greek swimmers is considered high. Moist walking surfaces, placing towels on locker room benches, and sharing equipment are behaviors that cause infections. An early diagnosis of warts and MC lesions must be implemented in every swimmer through dermatological examination. Taking proper measures for reducing the risk of warts and MC transmission in Greek swimmers is mandatory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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Article
Swimming Pool-Related Outbreak of a Rare gp60 Subtype of Cryptosporidium hominis, England, October 2016
Water 2021, 13(22), 3152; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223152 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 328
Abstract
In October 2016, Public Health England was initially notified of four cases of cryptosporidiosis among users of two swimming pools. We investigated to identify further cases, the outbreak source, and ensure the implementation of appropriate control measures. Probable primary cases had diarrhoea and [...] Read more.
In October 2016, Public Health England was initially notified of four cases of cryptosporidiosis among users of two swimming pools. We investigated to identify further cases, the outbreak source, and ensure the implementation of appropriate control measures. Probable primary cases had diarrhoea and reported swimming in the pools 1–12 days prior to illness; confirmed cases were verified by the reference laboratory. Secondary cases had contact with primary cases 1–12 days prior to illness. We identified twenty-two cases: eleven were primary (eight confirmed) and eleven were secondary (five confirmed). Four cases were infected with C. parvum (different gp60 subtypes); all were primary and swam at two pools. Seven primary and secondary cases were infected with C. hominis gp60 subtype IdA16, and all were associated one pool. Failings in pool water treatment and management were identified that likely contributed to the load on the filters and their efficiency. Our investigation identified a complex outbreak, with secondary transmission, involving exposures to two swimming pools. C. hominis IdA16 is rare; it has been isolated from only three previous UK cases. We hypothesize that C. hominis cases arose from a common exposure, and the C. parvum cases were likely sporadic. This investigation highlights the value of integrating epidemiology and microbiology to investigate clusters of Cryptosporidium cases, defining the extent of the outbreak and the likely transmission pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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Article
Modelling Bathing Water Quality Using Official Monitoring Data
Water 2021, 13(21), 3005; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213005 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Predictive models of bathing water quality are a useful support to traditional monitoring and provide timely and adequate information for the protection of public health. When developing models, it is critical to select an appropriate model type and appropriate metrics to reduce errors [...] Read more.
Predictive models of bathing water quality are a useful support to traditional monitoring and provide timely and adequate information for the protection of public health. When developing models, it is critical to select an appropriate model type and appropriate metrics to reduce errors so that the predicted outcome is reliable. It is usually necessary to conduct intensive sampling to collect a sufficient amount of data. This paper presents the process of developing a predictive model in Kaštela Bay (Adriatic Sea) using only data from regular (official) bathing water quality monitoring collected during five bathing seasons. The predictive modelling process, which included data preprocessing, model training, and model tuning, showed no silver bullet model and selected two model types that met the specified requirements: a neural network (ANN) for Escherichia coli and a random forest (RF) for intestinal enterococci. The different model types are probably the result of the different persistence of two indicator bacteria to the effects of marine environmental factors and consequently the different die-off rates. By combining these two models, the bathing water samples were classified with acceptable performances, an informedness of 71.7%, an F-score of 47.1%, and an overall accuracy of 80.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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Article
Inland and Coastal Bathing Water Quality in the Last Decade (2011–2020): Croatia vs. Region vs. EU
Water 2021, 13(17), 2440; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172440 - 05 Sep 2021
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Europe is one of the leading tourist destinations where tourism is one of the key economic sectors. The quality of bathing waters is a very important factor when choosing a vacation destination. Croatia recognized this early and was one of the first Mediterranean [...] Read more.
Europe is one of the leading tourist destinations where tourism is one of the key economic sectors. The quality of bathing waters is a very important factor when choosing a vacation destination. Croatia recognized this early and was one of the first Mediterranean countries to start systematic monitoring of bathing waters. On the other hand, monitoring of inland bathing waters is relatively new and includes a much smaller number of sites (41) compared to coastal waters (894). The aim of this paper was to summarize and analyze the water quality of inland and coastal bathing sites of Croatia, closer regions (non-EU Member States) and in the EU for the last decade. The share of excellent water quality in EU Member States increased by 10.1% and 6.6% for inland and coastal waters, respectively (2011–2020). Germany recorded the highest proportion of excellent water quality for inland waters (92.2%) and Cyprus for coastal waters (99.3%). Looking at the 10-year average of the proportion of bathing waters with excellent quality, the proportion of coastal bathing sites exceeds that of inland waters by 7.1%. It is clear that additional efforts should be made to improve the management and monitoring of inland waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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Article
Revisiting the Gage–Bidwell Law of Dilution in Relation to the Effectiveness of Swimming Pool Filtration and the Risk to Swimming Pool Users from Cryptosporidium
Water 2021, 13(17), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172350 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The transfer of water from a swimming pool to the treatment location is key in determining the effectiveness of water treatment by filtration in removing turbidity and managing the risk from particulate material, including microbial pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium spp. A key recommendation [...] Read more.
The transfer of water from a swimming pool to the treatment location is key in determining the effectiveness of water treatment by filtration in removing turbidity and managing the risk from particulate material, including microbial pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium spp. A key recommendation for pool operators when dealing with an accidental faecal release (the likely main source of high Cryptosporidium oocyst concentrations in pools) is that the pool water should be filtered for at least six turnover cycles prior to use. This paper briefly outlines the theoretical basis of what has become known as the Gage–Bidwell Law of Dilution, which provides a basis for this recommendation, and extends the idea to account for the impact of filter efficiency. The Gage–Bidwell Law reveals that for each pool turnover 63% of the water resident in the pool at the start of the turnover period will have been recirculated. Building on this, we demonstrate that both filter efficiency and water-turnover time are important in determining filtration effectiveness and can be combined through a single parameter we term ‘particle-turnover’. We consider the implications of the Gage–Bidwell Law (as referred to in the original 1926 paper) for the dynamics of the ‘dirt’ content of pool water, whether in terms of a specific particle size range (e.g., Cryptosporidium oocysts) or turbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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Article
Occurrence of Cryptosporidium Oocysts in Leisure Pools in the UK, 2017, and Modelling of Oocyst Contamination Events
Water 2021, 13(11), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111503 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhoea outbreaks linked to swimming pools, but little is known about the frequency of contamination. The primary aim was to investigate the occurrence and concentration, through sampling and modelling, of Cryptosporidium oocysts in leisure pools. Secondary aims [...] Read more.
Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhoea outbreaks linked to swimming pools, but little is known about the frequency of contamination. The primary aim was to investigate the occurrence and concentration, through sampling and modelling, of Cryptosporidium oocysts in leisure pools. Secondary aims were to compare detections with operational parameters, provide the evidence-base for guidance, and improve sampling capacity and interpretation for public health investigations. Up to 1000 L pool water was sampled during swim sessions once weekly for 10 weeks from 8 August 2017 at six volunteer pools. Oocysts were detected by microscopy in 12/59 (20%) pool water samples, at least once in each pool; 8/12 (66%) detections were in August when bather loads were highest. At three pools, 1 L filter backwash was sampled weekly and oocysts were detected in 2/29 (7%) samples, following detections in pool water. The probabilities of a bather contaminating the pool ranged from 1 in 1000 to over 1 in 10,000. Monte Carlo analysis showed that when high bather numbers caused contamination on over 70% of days, multiple events per day were more likely than single events. In these generally well-managed leisure pools, Cryptosporidium risk related to high bather loads. We conclude that public awareness campaigns for bather hygiene, and reminding pool operators of current guidance for managing faecal accidents, should be ahead of peak swim season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Recreational Waters: Sanitation and Safety Issues)
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