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02nd Mar 2017

Eugh, there is a wee bit more urine in public swimming pools than we EVER imagined

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Look; we’re reasonable people. Nobody was under the illusion that there was zero wee in the swimming pool.

However, the latest study shows that there is significantly more urine splashing about in there than we ever imagined possible.

Want to know exactly how much? Even if it means you never set foot in your local leisure centre again?

Well here it is; according to a Canadian research team, the average swimming pool can contain up to 60 litres of pee.

Scientists at the University of Alberta tested 31 pools and hot tubs, located in hotels, recreation centres and private homes. They were looking for a specific type of sweetener only found in foods and drinks consumed by humans.

Levels of the sweetener, acesulfame-K were a whopping 570 times higher in swimming pool water than in tap water.

Study lead Lindsay Blackstock said that human urinary input into swimming pools is a public health concern, although urine itself is sterile:

“Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine,” she said. “These compounds can react with disinfectants in swimming pools to form disinfection byproducts.

“Exposure to volatile disinfection byproducts, specifically trichloramine, in indoor swimming facilities can lead to eye and respiratory irritation and has been linked to occupational asthma.”

Apparently, 19 per cent of adults admit to having urinated in a swimming pool at least once.

And let’s not even talk about the kids.

That’s it – We are cancelling the swimming lessons!