Everyone’s guilty of peeing in a swimming pool at least once in their life.
It’s nothing new, however a new study shows just how much urine you could potentially be swimming in. So for you germaphobes out there, maybe you want to stop reading at this point… or carry on, this could be lifesaving information for you.
Scientists from the University of Alberta, Edmonton have come up with a way to determine just how many units of urine are being deposited into public swimming pools.
According to The Guardian:
The test works by measuring the concentration of artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE), commonly found in processed food and passes through the body unaltered.
Researchers tracked the levels of sweetener in two public swimming pools in Canada over a three week period and discovered that swimmers were depositing 75 litres of urine into a large pool. To put that into perspective that’s enough to fill up a medium sized dustbin!
Speaking to The Guardian, University Graduate, and lead author of the study, Lindsay Blackstock pointed out that:
Our study provides additional evidence that people are indeed urinating in public pools and hot tubs. We did not monitor the number of pool users over the three week time period … so there is no way we could estimate the number of individual urination events per day
Whilst this may make for uncomfortable reading you’ll be pleased to find out that there’s more urine found in hot tubs and Jacuzzis.
One hotel even found their hot tub had three times the concentration of urine than in the worst swimming pool! Tough break for Jacuzzi lovers.
Blackstock went on to say that the whole point of the study is:
To promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices. We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.
While not every adult is going to admit to relieving themselves in a public swimming pool an anonymous survey did point out that 19 per cent have confessed to pissing themselves while there.
Professional swimmers have even admitted to peeing in the pool and are among the number one offenders. During the the London 2012 Olympics the notorious Ryan Lochte and the legendary Michael Phelps both admitted to doing it.
Locthe stated that:
I think there’s just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go.
Phelps agreed, adding that:
Chlorine kills it, so it’s not bad
However, even though urine is sterile it doesn’t mean it won’t effect you, the compounds in urine such as urea, ammonia, and creatinine can react with the disinfectants in swimming pools forming byproducts of DBPs which can lead to eye and respiratory irritation.
Furthermore, long term exposure has been linked to illnesses in professional swimmers and pool workers.
So best not to get caught short…