As you head into the pool this weekend, think twice about how you contribute to making your pool dirty. As if bacteria created from sunken organic debris were not enough, a survey by the Water Quality and Health Council found that many Americans knowingly contribute urine and sweat to swimming pools. Forty percent of Americans admit to peeing in the pool as an adult. If you have subbed a dip in the pool for a shower or rinse, you are among the half of Americans who have used a swimming pool as a communal bathtub. In this blog, learn why you should stop peeing in the pool, and why to not enter without showering first. Understand the health risks to practice better pool etiquette and begin maintaining an inviting pool for everyone to enjoy.

Peeing in the Pool is Common

When you step into a cold pool, your body immediately enters survival mode. It pulls blood away from your arms and legs and brings it to your heart lungs, and stomach so they stay safe and warm. The hydrostatic pressure drives blood pressure up enough to trigger the kidneys to respond by stepping up their filtration game and increase urine output. Peeing in the pool introduces various bacteria, including E. coli, which can survive in pool water and lead to illness. Gross fact: A quarter of Americans revealed they would go in a swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea.

When swimmers enter the pool, they also add dirt, sweat, body oils, lotions, and other personal care products to the mix. Most Americans do not know that pool chemistry can be impacted by makeup (53%) and deodorant (55%). It’s important to rinse of before jumping in the pool. The survey found that 48% of Americans never shower before swimming, even though two-thirds (64%) understand that pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to do so.

Did you know: The most common pool myth of all time is that there is a chemical substance that changes the color of the water to let everyone know that someone has peed in the pool. Parents have long used the story of a chemical that changes color in the presence of pee to keep their children from peeing in the pool. The fact is there is no such urine-indicator dye that currently exists.


Pee in the Pool & Other Substances Inhibit Chlorine, Requiring Even More

In addition to pee and personal care products, organic material such as leaves, dust, pollen, insects, and other debris commonly enter the pool on their own. When any of these substances react with chlorine, they produce chloramines, which can cause eye, and skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even asthma. Chloramines reduce the amount of chlorine available to kill germs. This diminishes the effectiveness of the disinfectant and requires even more chlorine to neutralize contaminants. Excessive chlorine can cause also cause skin and eye irritation, plus other negative health effects.

Ways to Maintain a Clean Pool

Maintaining a clean, healthy, and inviting pool is the responsibility of every pool owner. To reduce chemical usage, maintain proper balance and ensure high water quality, pool owners should shower before swimming and refrain from urinating in the pool. Another hack is constant surface skimming with a solar-powered pool cleaning robot. Ariel is a pool skimmer robot that operates around the clock to remove fallen organic debris, and even pet hair, before it has a chance to decay and sink. Constant surface skimming helps to maintain ultra clean and healthy water.