Water Therapy (PT)..Odd Stench On My Hands..

by Linda

I surely hope yoou can provide me with some info!

I just began water therapy (PT) yesterday. To my chagrin, when I got home, showered,& washed the dishes, I still had an odd stench on my hands...no other part of my body.

I tried baking soda, lemon juice etc...nothing removed it! I called a friend who suggested Peroxide, it removed about 95% of the smell.

There was a metal rail around the edge of the water which I held on to. Then I looked at a sterling silver and gold ring I have...the silver had turned to gunmetal color and soaking it in jewelry cleaner over night did nothing!

I noticed some of the metal rails had caroded, the water wasn't 'sparkling clear', and there seemed to be about a 3" discolored area on the pool side at the water level.

I am concerned, should I be? What do you think the problem is? thank you for your consideration.

I am hoping you can shed some light on the after affects of my being in that therapy pool...PLEASE...I am concerned.

Thanks for the question Linda

It is strange that the smell would be on your hands and no other parts of your body. Most of the time with a bad chlorine smell there's actually not enough chlorine to combat the organic matter that goes into the pool.

There are many therapy pools on the market so I'm not sure which one you went into. There are above ground and inground therapy pools.

In your case my first thought would be a high concentration of metals (iron and copper) in the pool. I will assume Texas has the same kind of water as Arizona, which is where I took care of residential and commercial pools for years.

AZ has very hard water and many places have high iron and copper.

I would encourage you to talk to the pool operator. Ask what the chlorine levels are, when they do a complete water change, how old the water is, and how often they take the chemical readings.

Ask if they check for heavy metals and minerals in the water. What are the readings? The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) should not exceed 1500ppm. If it's over that the water needs to be changed out.

If they do use a metal agent to reduce the amount of metals in the water, you may be allergic to that. Ask which kind it is.

The TDS is a very easy test but should be done by a pool supply store.

The pools readings should be:

Chlorine 3.5 - 4.5ppm. This is for
a commercial pool. Home pools are 1.5 - 3.5ppm.
Alkalinity 80 - 100
pH 7.6 - 7.8ppm
Calcium Hardness 150 - 250ppm

If it is a commercial pool you should be able to have access to those records. Everything they do to the pool needs to be documented. If they don't release them to you, ask why.

They may be subject to the Texas Board of Health, or a similar agency. That's another avenue you can pursue.

A corroded metal rail might be from age, bad pool chemistry, or both. Normally the alkalinity is off.

I don't think anything is life threatening, but you want to cover all your bases and be comfortable when doing your therapy.

I hope this helps and if there's anything else please let me know

Best of luck


Follow-Up Comment:
By: Linda
March 26, 2011

Thank you...your info is very helpful. The smell was only on my hands because I had held onto the metal rail that went around the pool.

I figure the chemical reaction on my ring was from making contact with the same rail. The gold part was unchanged. I plan to take the ring to a jeweler, my fear is that what ever happened to it is deeper than a surface polish can remove.

This pool was in ground, inside a hospital. I feel that means even more that it should be perfect.

I will let you know how it goes...I return next Wednesday.


Follow-Up Comment:
By: Linda
April 26, 2011

Please accept my apology for taking so long to get back to you!

I sent my letter to them along with a copy of your appraisal. When I went in for my next PT, the head therapist had taken my therapist's place as she had something personal to attend to.

It was almost funny...he went on and on about my wonderful letter and kind words I had for my therapist... all designed, I am certain, to deflate any rancor I had.

To put it succinctly, he said 'they' are planning to do an acid wash...as if that would solve all problems, and that they were certain everything was tested and as it should be.

Well, I still wore my rubber gloves, and my ring didn't turn. I, luckily, had a problem with a toe the next week, and got a 2 week pass from my doctor.

I will have to go again next week...dreading it. but, I can't prove anything, and don't want my doctor to think I am a malingerer.

Thank you again...I am trying not to be a sissy, and do my PT!


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