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Revealed: Shocking Urine Levels in Pools

If you go swimming regularly, this is probably something you don’t want to think about:

How much pee am I swimming in right now?

A group of academics set out to find an answer to this question, it’s something many of us have wondered, they took samples from 31 different hot tubs and swimming pools for their research.

The results were quite shocking…


How much pee am I swimming in?

One of the pools tested, which was smaller than an Olympic swimming pool about a third of the size of one, had a staggering 75 liters or 132 pints of urine in it. Ergh! While a smaller pool contained 30 liters. Gross.


The study took place in two cities in Canada but the pools have not been named. But before you breathe a sigh of relief for not living in Canada, research shows these peeing in the pool habits are very similar the world over.

One of the researchers, Lindsay Blackstock, a Ph.D. student of analytical and environmental toxicology at Alberta University said “Even though no one would admit to peeing in the pool, obviously somebody has to be doing it”



On a related note, some do actually swear by drinking urine as part of ayurvedic urine therapy (never tried it myself) but getting a mouthful while swimming is definitely not a good idea. This is mainly because it can be harmful, can potentially cause asthma and cause eye irritation because it has mixed with the chemicals already in the water.


How did they find the urine?

To test for urine in the pools, they looked for traces of the artificial sweetener acesulfame-k which is a sweetener commonly found in fizzy drinks and many processed foods. The body doesn’t digest it, so it is present in urine.


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From their journal entry in Environmental Science and Technology, the team said, the overnight color change of the water color from blue to green at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro highlighted the need to monitor the water quality in swimming pools.

They went on to say, “Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine”

“These compounds can react with disinfectants (e.g., chlorine) in swimming pools to form disinfection byproducts” (DBPs).


“Exposure to volatile DBPs, specifically trichloramine, in indoor swimming facilities leads to eye and respiratory irritation and can lead to occupational asthma.

“Although considered a taboo, 19 percent of adults have admitted to having urinated in a swimming pool at least once.”

Have you recently peed in a pool?

Comment below and let us know how you feel about this discovery.

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