New to swimming pool care? Wondering how to take care of a pool? No worries. Read on for the basics of proper pool maintenance.

To keep your swimming pool clean and avoid future issues with algae, corrosion, and buildup, it’s critical to test your water regularly. A good rule of thumb is to test your pool water two to three times a week during the summer, and once a week during the winter.

The CDC recommends following four simple steps to keep germs from ruining your next swim session:

1. Stay out of the water if you’re sick

Most of the outbreaks linked to swimming pools are spread when one of the swimmers is sick with an infection or a gastrointestinal illness.

2. Shower before you get in the water

Showering for just a few minutes before swimming removes a vast majority of the potentially harmful dirt and oils from your body.

3. Don’t use the pool as a bathroom

If you need to use the bathroom, do just that — get out of the pool and go to the bathroom. You wouldn’t swim in the toilet would you?

4. Don’t swallow pool water

Just a single mouthful of tainted water can make you sick. If you’re thirsty, stick to the water fountain!