How To Stay Safe Swimming in Florida’s Freshwater Lakes and Ponds

freshwater-lakes-and-pondsIt’s summer, so everyone’s got swimming on their mind. And not everyone goes to the beach, even here in the Tampa Bay area. Some people are far more tempted by freshwater lakes and ponds.

However, this type of swimming can be very dangerous, especially here in Florida. That’s because of a little bug called Naegleria fowleri, a type of of amoeba that can cause a severe infection.

The infection is called amebic meningoencephalitis. It travels up the nasal cavity until it can attack the brain and spinal cord.

The infection can cause death in less than 10 days. It starts with headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a stiff neck.

The same danger can arise in swimming pools that aren’t maintained properly. So make sure you keep your pool clean!

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re maintaining the proper water chemistry and chlorination. Test your pool regularly to make sure that it’s absolutely safe.

You can take safety measures with freshwater lakes and ponds, too. For example, you should avoid these water sources when water levels are low, particularly when it’s hot outside.

You should also keep your head and nose out of freshwater. Avoid digging at, or stirring up, the sediment at the bottom of lakes and ponds as well, since that’s where the amoeba lives.

Finally, obey all posted warnings. If a sign says that the water isn’t safe to swim in then it probably isn’t!

We install seamless aluminum gutters and gutter guards in Homossassa, Beverly Hills, and the rest of the Tampa Bay area, so we stay well aware of all kinds of water issues. We’d like you to have a safe and happy summer. And if you want to keep your house safe from water damage, fill out the form on the right for a free estimate – gutters are they key to protecting your home from Florida storms!


  1. Bob says:

    is it safe to swim in Florida lakes, ponds and rivers?

  2. Carolyn says:

    In my opinion, no body of fresh water in Florida is safe for swimming. Many of the lakes are dirty, and almost all of them are hosts to deadly bacteria. To me, that’s more worrisome than the alligators and snakes, which also are a risk in fresh water. Cotton mouths are extremely lethal, and call lakes and ponds their home. Swimming in lakes, ponds or other fresh water sources is risky, but hey, you don’t need me to tell you.

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