Published: Mon, March 06, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

New Study Estimates Amount of Urine in Swimming Pools

New Study Estimates Amount of Urine in Swimming Pools

The study, led by the U of A's Xing-Fang Li, a professor of environmental health sciences, was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

New tests for artificial sweetener could soon help determine how much pee is in public hot tubs and pools.

So, in light of the recent research, you might want to think twice before going to a public pool.

Blackstock said testing results for hot tubs tended to be the most variable, with either really high or really low concentrations of the sweetener.

Blackstock said that the research would help educate people on proper swimming hygiene practices. An Olympics swimming pool contains almost 220,000-gallon and there is 20 gallon of human urine in that water, as per the research team estimates.

A whiz of a study has determined just how much urine may be in the average public pool.

Researchers also tracked measurements from eight hot tubs, finding levels of ACE much higher than in the swimming pools. An average swimming pool actually contains approximately 20 gallons of human urine.

When researchers compared the levels of the sweetener in pool water and tap water, they found that the former contained up to 570 times more Ace-K. He said pool managers resort to adding even more chlorine to their pool, which only exacerbates the chemical byproducts. Finally, we determined the levels of ACE over 3 weeks in two pools (110000 and 220000 USA gallons) and used the average ACE level to estimate the urine contribution as 30 and 75 L. This study clearly shows the human impact in pools and tubs.

However, while urine is sterile, compounds in urine, including urea, ammonia, and creatinine have been found to react with disinfectants to form byproducts known as DBPs that can lead to eye and respiratory irritation.

We've all heard and possibly snickered about the amount of urine in the typical swimming pool or hot tub. The synthetic sweetener is a flawless marker for the presence of urine, because our body is unable to break down the compound - we excrete 100 percent of the amount we ingest. "The positive health effects gained by swimming could be increased by reducing the potential health risks of pool water", Kogevinas and colleagues wrote in their 2010 study.

RG: What do you recommend for people who regularly swim regularly to avoid health issues? We recommend that all pool users should rinse off excess personal care products in the provided showers before entering public pools.

"We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls", said co-author Lindsay Blackstock.

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