How much pee is in a swimming pool? More than you think

Researcher Lindsay Blackstock said that they hope the study will encourage people to practise proper pool hygiene by leaving the pool to urinate in the changing rooms.
Researcher Lindsay Blackstock said that they hope the study will encourage people to practise proper pool hygiene by leaving the pool to urinate in the changing rooms.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Would you pee in a swimming pool? If you do, you are not alone. A study has proven that people do urinate in pools, and even measured the volume of urine "added".

Scientists in Canada have found that, over three weeks, swimmers had released 75 litres of urine - enough to fill a medium-sized dustbin - into a large pool, which was about one-third the size of an Olympic pool, The Guardian reported.

In another pool they tested, 30 litres of urine was found.

The researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton measured the levels of an artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE) in the swimming pools.

They used the average ACE concentration in the urine of Canadians to convert their measurements into approximate amounts of urine.

The substance is found in processed foods and passes through the human body unaltered.

More disturbing news - hot tubs and jacuzzis have far higher levels of urine in them. One hotel jacuzzi had more than three times the concentration of sweetener than in the worst swimming pool, the report said.

ACE was found in all of the 31 swimming pools and tubs in two Canadian cities tested by the team.

They were not able to estimate how many people were secretly relieving themselves while swimming but the volume released suggests it happened several times a day.

Researcher Lindsay Blackstock said that they hope the study will encourage people to practise proper pool hygiene by leaving the pool to urinate in the changing rooms.

Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are formed by interaction between disinfectants like chlorine and organic matter in urine, such as urea.

DBPs can lead to eye and respiratory irritation. It is also linked to increased asthma in competitive swimmers.