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Posted on: June 13, 2019 at 2:03 pm
Last updated: August 3, 2019 at 12:51 pm

As pool season quickly approaches, here’s a little fact that may make you pause and think before diving into the water.

Who pee’d in the pool? Was it your child, your friend, or you?

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It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of people urinate in the pool, and Dr. Anessa Alappatt says “this adds up to about one to three ounces of urine per person”. (1)

Dr. Alappatt warns in her article ‘Urine for a Surprise’ for Premier Health, when you smell that chlorine scent which greets you as you enter the public pool, what you’re really smelling is the chlorine reacting to excess pollutants in the water, such as urine.

While other pollutants such as skin lotions or hair products may also cause this reaction to occur, there is a definite abundance of human waste in the pool, and the thought of that is kind of hard to stomach.

Although the intent for chlorine is to quickly destroy the bacteria, an introduction of more bacteria filled liquid dilutes chlorine’s effectiveness, putting the public’s health at a greater risk.

Often times people think that a pool is safer and more resistant to germs if it has a potent chlorine scent, however you should think twice next time, as that smell is really indicating that plenty of people may have peed in the pool today.

Dr. Alappatt offers a couple of important tips for staying safe and healthy both before and after your next trip to the public pool:

Shower before and after: Shower before you jump into the water. This rinses away harmful chemicals that won’t dilute chlorine and will allow it to work more effectively. Showering after you swim removes any chlorine as well as other harmful pollutants.

Be a part of the solution instead of the problem: Choose not to treat the swimming pool as a public restroom, this will keep you and others healthy. Additionally, avoid swimming pools if you have recently had diarrhea since it can take up to seven days for chlorine to kill bacteria caused by stool. That may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised.

 

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