Assessment of Physicochemical and Microbiological Quality of Public Swimming Pools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Kokebe Yedeme1, Melese Hailu Legese2, *, Almaz Gonfa3, Somson Girma3
1 St. Peter’s Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Science, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3 Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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© 2017 Yedeme et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Tel: +215913705279, E-mail:



From swimming pools, bathers may acquire many potential pathogens or may be affected by the physicochemical characteristics of water used during bathing. Hence, this study aimed at assessing the physicochemical and microbiological quality of public swimming pools located at different hotels and recreation center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


A cross sectional study was carried out from February to May, 2016. Nine hotels and one recreation center which recognized to have public swimming services were included. A total of 60 swimming pool water samples from 10 swimming pools were collected at deeper, shallow and intake point twice on a weekly basis using a 250 ml sterile bottle containing sodium thiosulphate. PH, residual chlorine and temperature of samples were recorded at the time of collection. Sample containing bottles were transported in ice box to microbiological laboratory and analyzed on the same day. Standard cultural and biochemical methods were used for isolation and characterization of the main microbial groups. Total viable count, total coliform count, fecal coliform count and E. coli were determined. Data was analyzed using SPSS Version 20.


Average PH and temperature of swimming pool water samples were 7.1 and 29oC respectively. Of all analyzed water samples, 58.4% (n=35/60) of them had PH range of 7.2-7.8, 58.3% (n=35/60) of samples had temperature in the range of 21oC-32oC and 25% (n=15/60) of water samples had residual chlorine in the range of 2-3mg/l. 73.3% (n=44/60) of the samples had a total viable count below 200 MPN/ml and 70% (n-42/60) of the samples had Total Coliform Count values less than 2 MPN/100 ml. Moreover, 66.7% (n=40/60) of the samples had fecal coliform counts falling below 1 MPN /100 ml. E. coli was absent in 70% (n=42/60) of the samples while it was present in 30% (n=18/60) of the samples.


PH, residual chlorine and temperature value of majority of the swimming pools’ water samples were within the acceptable limit. Regarding microbial quality, most swimming pools’ water samples complied to the WHO standard. Swimming pools that did not comply to the standard both in physicochemical levels and microbial quality need improvement due to their significant health implication.

Keywords: Microbial quality, Physicochemical, Safety, Swimming pools, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.