The Hidden Dangers of Swimming in a Pool with Urine


University of Alberta researchers discovered that an average swimming pool contains up to 20 gallons of urine.

With summers around the corner, everybody’s probably thinking about kicking it back and head towards the local watering hole to relax, cool down, and to exercise a little. But how safe are public pools? A recent study shows that most public pools contain a high amount of urine.

We all know that the best way to go for a great swim is to go to the beach. However, not all of us have the luxury of leaving all things outside and to head to the local beach. For those who are just capable of leaving the city, public pools are a great choice for cooling down in the summer and to do a couple of exercises.

However enticing the perspective of going for a couple of swims in the local pool may be, we all know that there’s a high chance of someone urinating next to you. Granted that it’s a little disturbing and quite unhealthy, but sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go to your happy place.

The Study On Urine Concentration

A recent study from the University of Alberta showed that most public pools contain a high level of urine, despite the posted signs and the owners cleaning it on a daily basis. Although most of us think that it’s fine to swim around in urine since chlorine can knock out most of toxins found in the bodily fluid, the Alberta researchers said that chlorine mixed with urine can be a dangerous mixture.

In order to determine the amount of urine in public pools, the team of researchers collected water samples from 31 public pools and tested them for a substance called ACE or acesulfame potassium. The researchers declared that ACE is an artificial sweetener, widely used by the food industry. Furthermore, according to the team, ACE is among the only substances that pass through our body without being metabolized.

Results and Additional Health Concerns

The lab tests revealed that a public pool contains 20 gallons of urine on the average. By comparison, the researchers said that the levels of urine identified in pools are approximately 570 times higher than those you would normally find in, let’s say, tap water.

The team said that chlorine, the disinfectant normally used to clean out pools, doesn’t help that much when it comes to dealing with urine. In fact, the scientists have discovered that the mixture of uric acid and chlorine can give birth to cyanogen chloride and trichloramine, two dangerous compounds which can wreak havoc on the CNI and damage the lungs and heart.

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About Andreas Petersen

Andreas was too little to remember when he and his parents first set foot in America. He considers himself a true American citizen, but uses every opportunity to promote his Danish origins. He is deeply found of politics, all nations’ politics and generally looks forward to the presidential elections. His BA degree in Political Sciences has helped him get familiar to the constitutional frames of US and non-US nations.