What’s Known About Chlorine’s Impact On Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting travel, business and sporting events, as well as day-to-day living around the world.

For instance, we reported yesterday how, in addition to cancelling its Olympic swimming trials meet slated for next week, Italy itself became the first nation to place its entire territory under quarantine in an effort to contain the virus.

Questions abound about how COVID-19 is spread, how it can be treated and what one’s risk is in different situations.

A point of positivity from a swimmer’s perspective at least is that Ireland’s Health Service Executive, essentially the equivalent of the Department of Health & Human Services in the United States, confirms that coronavirus cannot be transmitted in drinking water and swimming pools, provided these mediums are properly chlorinated.

Per Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Center, the following detailed specifics are minimally required to sufficiently inactivate COVID-19 virus in chlorinated drinking water and swimming pools:

  • For Drinking Water chlorination, ‘current recommendations’ is taken to mean a Ct value of at least 15 mg.min/liter (for example exposure to 0.5 mg/l free chlorine for at least 30 minutes).
  • For Swimming Pool chlorination, operating to ‘current recommendations / best practice’ means maintenance of a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0 mg/l (depending on pool type and disinfectant used).

Important to note is that, in the absence of data on this newly identified SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the aforementioned is based on what is known about severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV or MERS), which caused the two previous Coronavirus outbreaks. This new strain is in the same coronavirus family as MERS and SARS.

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1 year ago

Okay kids get back to practice

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

Another way for parents to get their kids to practice!

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

You are forgetting about coaching staff who are not taking Chlorine bath and some of them are in high risk group by their age.

Sun Yangs Hammer
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Get in the pool coach

Reply to  Sun Yangs Hammer
1 year ago

GOD created the IMMUNE SYSTEM for all of us to defend against any type of disease that we will encounter. Allow the SHARK TANK $$$$ to invest in a pill and/or liquid form of CHLORINE to be ingested forever to stop this movie we are all co-starring in Y2K (20)

1 year ago

Just announced that Southern California Spring Junior Olympics is canceled.

Allen Wone
Reply to  Swimdad
1 year ago

Thats because the venue closed them out of the facility, nothing that the LSC did

Reply to  Swimdad
1 year ago

Same here. Florida Gold Coast just cancelled JOs & Sr. Champs.

maurizio pistocco
1 year ago

The high risk is in the changing rooms not in the water while swimming

Reply to  maurizio pistocco
1 year ago

Dressel may have been on to something after all 👀

Bronwyn Pease
Reply to  maurizio pistocco
1 year ago

If this a way of restricting the spread, why has not the WHO/ Health Authorities adopted this measure. Surely this could be practised in all of our schools that are closing etc ( many would have their own pools/ access to one). Even ensuring the students/health carers/anyone suspected of being in contact with a person who has succumbed etc, washed their hands in diluted Chlorine Solutions?

1 year ago

thank you Ireland’s Health Service Executive!
I have been telling everyone that swimming is the only safe activities during this COVID-19 time – you get a full body chlorine bath for an hour (or more), you are going to work / school /home sparkling clean!

Woke Stasi
1 year ago

I just finished my daily one-hour bath in anti-Covid-19 solution — as known as masters practice! Plus, plenty of healthful vitamin D from the sun. What an amazing sport!

Reply to  Woke Stasi
1 year ago

The more cough-inducing, eye-irritating and skin-inflaming the healthier the pool

Reply to  PhillyMark
1 year ago

Actually that isn’t accurate. Usually the chloramines you smell are from poorly maintained or overused pools. A properly maintained and chlorinated pool will not have a harsh smell.

1 year ago

“Chlorine levels up to 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L or 4 parts per million (ppm) are considered safe in drinking water.” http://bit.ly/38ymakg

Will 37
1 year ago

Awesome article! However, the locker rooms and open gym areas are relatively unsafe, so that should also be considered as a factor.

1 year ago

Can you catch Coronavirus in a swimming pool?
No, but Michael Phelps might.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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