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Bacteria 101

Bacteria 101

Contaminated recreational water can cause a variety of ailments and diseases, such as diarrhea, skin, ear and upper respiratory infections. The main culprit? Bacteria!

Photo of hot tub rash


Bacteria is everywhere! It can be found in soil, rock, oceans, lakes and even arctic snow. Some live in other organisms including plants, animals, and humans. In fact, there are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells, and most are found in the digestive system.

Not all bacteria is bad! It plays an important role in the cycling of nutrients. While some types cause food spoilage and crop damage, others are incredibly useful in the production of fermented foods such as yogurt and soy sauce. However in a swimming pool, germs from other swimmers and unsafe water supplies can easily contaminate water, especially if it isn’t properly disinfected.

Bacteria exist in the biofilms and scum that forms inside the swimming pool pipes surrounding interior and exterior surface and filtration systems. These germs can easily contaminate pool water. Regardless of the disinfectant levels!

The contaminated recreational water can then cause a variety of ailments and diseases, such as diarrhea, skin, ear and upper respiratory infections.


When conditions are favourable, such as the right temperature and nutrients are available, bacteria such as E. coli (Escherichia coli) divides every 20 minutes. This means that one bacterium can generate up to 2,097,152 bacteria in just 7 hours. After one more hour, the number of bacteria will have risen to a colossal 16,777,216! When these pathogenic microbes invade our bodies, we can quickly become ill.


In order to protect bathers, it’s crucial that pool water be routinely tested!

To help our customers keep their water clean and safe, Superior provides microbial testing on a regular or on-demand basis.

Superior’s Microbial Water Testing Service uses strict guidelines set by Public Health Ontario Laboratory (PHOL). Public Swimming Pool regulations are established by Public Health Ontario (PHO) and are a subsection of a larger health and safety act.

These drinking water regulations dictate the safety guidelines for bacteria culture count in the surrounding areas of public swimming pools which also includes drinking water regulations under Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards (O. Reg 169/03).


STEP 1: A Superior technician retrieves swimming pool water samples using special bottles barcoded and labelled to each specific site.

STEP 2: Each vile is then mixed with a particular preservative (depending on the test being carried out).

Bacteria testing includes:

  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coliforms
  • Escherichia coli (e.coli)
  • Heterotrophic Plate count
  • Legionella species
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Salmonella species
  • Staphylococcus aureus

STEP 3: Results are typically ready within 5-7 business days. Superior will share the results with you, then provide feedback and recommendations. All customers have access to their reports on a Cloud Platform account, so they can access them anytime and anywhere.

Be proactive and eliminate the possibilities of illness among the users of the facility! Sign up for our Microbial Testing Package today, for safety and peace of mind.

Superior Microbial Testing Package:  $800 (Includes 4 Separate Tests Conducted Annually)

Telephone: (416) 665-0410
Toll Free: 1 (800) 881-1625


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4 Paget Road, Unit 7
Brampton, Ontario
Canada, L6T 5G3

Telephone. 416-665-0410
Toll Free. 1-800-881-1625
Fax. 416-665-6877


Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario  

Canadian Condominium Institute Hotel Engineering / Facility Manager's Association of Toronto

 Greater Toronto Apartment Association  Association of Pool & Spa Professionals 

Pool Hot Tub Council of Canada