What To Do If A Dead Animal is Found in the Pool

It’s the nightmare of most swimmers – to ease into the backyard swimming pool only to be startled by an unmoving animal.

Let’s start with the good news first. Most dead animals in the swimming pool don’t pose a health risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Arizona, some of the most common animals that can slither, crawl or fly into a swimming pool include snakes, rodents, geckos or small desert wildlife. The little-to-no health risk means a pool owner can go back to swimming in very little time.

However, discovering a dead animal inevitably means one thing: the pool owner must immediately remove it. Aquaman Pools LLC agrees with the recommendations of the CDC in addressing this temporary disruption in pooltime fun:

Clear Swimmers – If the discovery of a dead animal comes after swimmers have entered the pool, clear the pool entirely before attempting to remove the dead animal. This is the best way to protect others and the potential spread of germs.

Protect Yourself – Use a net or bucket for the removal. Aquaman Pools recommends using disposable gloves and double bagging the dead animal in plastic garbage bags. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after the removal. After clearing the animal, wash any equipment that was used.

Sanitize the Pool – Raise the free chlorine concentration to, or maintain it at, 2 parts per million (ppm). For pH levels, maintain them at 7.5 or less. Monitor the temperature and keep the water at 77°F (25°C) or higher. The free chlorine and pH should remain at these levels for 30 minutes.

Double Check Filtration System – Take a look at the filtration and confirm it is operating without issues.

Keep Swimmers Out of Water for at Least 30 Minutes – While the chlorine concentration, pH levels and temperature are being monitored, ask swimmers to hang out poolside for at least 30 minutes so the water can be properly cleaned.

Consider Installing a Fence – Aquaman Pools recommends installing a pool fence for many reasons, especially if young children will be around the water, and preventing wildlife from entering is another benefit of having a fence. A fence will not fully prevent a desert creature from venturing in, but it’s an excellent start.

Remember, while it is never pleasant to find a dead animal in the pool, the above steps will allow pool owners to handle it safely so the pool can be reopened in no time.