Some women worry about contracting illnesses at the mikveh and sharing germs and lice. While the water often surpasses standards for public pools, it’s not a completely far-fetched anxiety, as tens of women are sharing water and supplies each night. But with the right preventative measures and education, one can protect oneself and others from sharing infections.
The role of keeping the mikveh clean lies primarily on the attendant. The Eden Center trains and reminds attendants of their responsibilities in keeping chlorine levels appropriate (too much is also dangerous), when to be changing water and how to sterilize all the multi-use items (combs, clippers, scissors, pumis stones, files, etc.) Just as an aside– some women like seeing the items come straight out of the sterilizer and others don’t like that. You can always ask the attendant if you want to assure yourself of how sterilization took place or if the item in question is a single use item. For more information for attendants, see here: http://theedencenter.com/how-to-keep-your-mikvah-healthy/
Women should also be cautious and sensitive: Wear flip flops at the mikveh! It’s better to bring your own than wear the ones provided, unless they are disposable or you are sure they are disinfected between each woman. Don’t stand barefoot in showers or at the edge of the mikveh pool, areas prone to fungus. For more information on how to prevent getting fungus at the mikveh here is a thorough blog.
If you have something contagious (especially an eye or yeast infection) PLEASE come at the end of the day and tell the attendants so they make sure to put in disinfectant after your immersion. Lice can live a few hours in water, but are more likely to be spread from combs, bathrobes, towels used after someone infected used them, so bringing your own materials can also help limit dissemination.
Some women shower after the mikveh if they were not comfortable with the cleanliness levels. Others have the minhag that one shouldn’t shower after mikveh, but if you feel like you need to shower to get rid of something after having gone to the mikveh you are allowed: http://www.yoatzot.org/questions-and-answers/answer.asp?id=1755
If we are all aware, sensitive, and pass on this kind of information to attendants and other women, we’ll all help in making the mikveh a welcoming, calming, positive experience.