Canadian researchers have worked out a way to test just how much urine can be found in a swimming pool, and they have concluded that pool water can contain up to 0.01% urine.
How much is that in actual figures?
The same researchers estimate that an 833,000 liter (220,000 gallon) pool could contain about 75 liters of urine (20 gallons) on average or a smaller 416,000 litre (110,000 gallon) pool was estimated to contain 30 litres (8 gallons) and they used public, private and hotel pools as well as hot tubs and Jacuzzis
for their study. The research team knew before going into the study that some people, and of course children, do often relieve themselves when swimming. They noted: "Although considered a taboo, 19% of adults have admitted to having urinated in a swimming pool at least once."
But surprisingly, it is not just adults and children using the pool when they felt the need instead of going for a bathroom break. I have discovered that there is another reason too...
This could well be a new term for you to read. I was listening to a radio interview with Janice Culvert of the Pool Water Advisory Group and she was telling the listeners that, when most people enter warm water, they involuntarily
release urine. It can be as much as 50 ml in women and 25 ml in men. And this is the reason why everyone (a) should go to the toilet and (b) should have a warm shower before they enter a pool. These are two essential factors in ensuring good pool hygiene.
Treating a pool
The Advisory Group say that the correct treatment of pools includes their recommendation that sufficient water is replaced regularly to dilute contaminates. This should be 30 liters for every bather that uses the pool.
Urine and chlorine together
We all know how chlorine is used to treat swimming pools, to destroy bacteria and to help stop the transmission of waterborn pathogens. However, when mixed with chlorine in a pool or hot tub, urine can contribute to the formation of so-called "disinfection by-products" in pool water - these can be harmful to a swimmer's health. One particular by-product called trichloramine
has the potential to cause eye irritation, respiratory problems and has been linked to occupational asthma for those people who spend hours in pools
such as pool workers and professional swimmers.
Urine is not the only culprit
Sweat, body lotions and hair products can all contribute to the problem of producing by-products.
Swimming has so many health benefits
It would be a great pity if such statistics from researchers put people off swimming and visiting their local pool. Swimming is a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise
, helping to alleviate stress. You can let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke, helping you gain a feeling of well-being. Swimming is so relaxing because it allows more oxygen to flow to your muscles and forces you to regulate your breathing. A pleasant side effect is the release of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. In addition swimming is now recognized as one of the biggest calorie burners around, and it’s great for keeping weight under control. Swimming is enjoyed by many of us for exercise, leisure and of course the health benefits too. But if you are concerned about the water quality in your pool of choice, this might be a good time to make enquiries of the people who look after it as to what safeguards and protocols they have in place.
Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152700/One-FIVE-adults-urinate-swimming-pools-70-dont-shower-diving-in.html http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/26/urine-chlorinated-pool.aspx
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.