Urine in swimming pools has always been one of the biggest elephants in the room, especially for professional swimmers. Nobody really made much of a fuss about it as long as they knew chlorine takes care of sanitizing the pool.
But now, a group of researchers from the University of Alberta found a way to quantify just how much pee your average pool contains.
According to the study, which was first published by the Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the researchers measured the amount of acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) substance in pools. Ace-K is an artificial sweetener also found in urine.
After getting 250 samples from 31 pools, they found that your average swimming pool contains around 75 liters of pee mixed up with all that water and chlorine.
This actually isn’t a lot and only accounts for roughly less than 1 percent of a pool’s total content. But the thing is, this amount can still cause some medical concerns, especially if you take regular dips for prolonged sessions thinking that you’re living a healthy lifestyle by swimming.
The study also found that the Ace-K levels in pools were over 500 times more than the acceptable amounts found in tap water.
Professional swimmers have been candid about admitting their urinating habits while in the pool. Even 23-time gold medalist and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps says this is normal.
Still, pee is pee, and you might want to keep away from it when you can. When mixed with chlorine, it can cause pesky eye and respiratory infections, as well as asthma.