Swimming Pools Are Public Toilet Bowls For Many. Have You Ever Peed In A Swimming Pool?
If you're taking a refreshing dip in a pool with four other people, odds are one of you is urinating. This is not gross-out myth, but cold, depressing fact from a recent survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council. The survey asked nearly 1,000 adults whether they urinate in pools, and one in five bravely admitted their mistakes. And those are the ones who admitted it! We may act like potty-trained adults on land, but something about a body of water, even a small one, opens our natural floodgates and puts us all at risk.
It IS easy, isn't it? Maybe that's because many of us were taught as kids that chlorine counteracted any accidents. Technically, that's mostly true. If pool operators maintain the proper chlorine and pH levels, most waterborne germs are killed on contact. But 54% of the public pools tested by the WQHC last year failed to provide the proper chlorine levels, and 47% got low marks for pH balance. You can blame poor pool maintenance, but frequent urinators don't help. While only one in five of us cop to peeing in the pool, seven in ten say they don't shower before they swim.
The additional bacteria we carry on our skin, in particular sweat and traces of fecal matter (yes, even on adults), gets mixed in the pool. If the disinfectant isn't right, bacteria grows in pools, so someone accidentally consumes a mouthful of water like we all do when we're swimming. and suddenly they're subject to serious bacteria, like E.coli or salmonella. The high risk offenders are water recreational parks, a dangerous combination of packs of young swimmers and lots of accidental gulps. But small private pools and large public ones are also potential health hazards, depending on how well they're maintained.
OKAY, SO NOW IT'S TIME FOR THE TRUTH... HAVE YOU EVER PEED IN A SWIMMING POOL?
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