Talk to anyone and they'll tell you peeing in the pool is just plain wrong. Despite people’s outward disgust, new research says many of your friends are probably lying.
Scientists developed a test to discover how much urine is really in local swimming pools and the results may, or may not surprise you.
“We want to use this study to promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices,” Lindsay Blackstock, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and lead author or the study told The Guardian. “We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.”
First, Blackstock and her team identified a compound that would be consistently present in urine, artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE). ACE is found in processed foods and passed through the digestive tract unaltered.
Using this method, researchers tested 250 water samples from 31 pools and hot tubs in in two Canadian cities. They then compared the results with over 90 samples of clean tap water from the outlets initially used to fill the pool.
The findings, published in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology Letters reported: “The concentration of ACE in the pools and hot tubs ranged from 30 to 7,110 nanograms per liter of water — up to 570 times more than the levels found in the tap water samples.
"The researchers estimated that swimmers released more than 7 gallons of urine — enough to fill a medium-size trash bin."
Scientists hope to develop an ACE test to ensure pool water is kept at a hygienic level.