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Thread: Pee in the Pool

  1. Back To Top    #1
    krcossin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Detroit Burbs

    Pee in the Pool

    Saw this article: ... index.html

    I've trained my kids well, one thing to look for as a pool owner is make sure everyone goes before jumping in, and if they didn't they will need to within the hour.

    Here's the article:
    (CNN) -- As the summer swim season starts Memorial Day weekend, water quality and health experts have a message for swimmers: Please don't pee in the pool.

    About one in five adults in a survey reported urinating in community pools.

    Although urine in the water probably will not cause swimmers to go to the emergency room, it causes "more of a respiratory, ocular irritation: the red puffy eyes or a cough, an itchy throat," said Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist in the division of parasitic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."A big health message is not to urinate or pee in the water."

    And it happens far more frequently than water-lovers would like to think.

    In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April and May, 17 percent admitted relieving themselves in a swimming pool. Even the Olympics' most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps, confessed to urinating in the water to TV host Jimmy Kimmel. In a 2008 interview, Kimmel asked the 14-gold medal winner, "You pee in the pool, true?"

    "Yeah," Phelps replied.

    "Which nationality pees in the pool the most?" Kimmel asked.

    "Probably Americans," Phelps said.

    "Oh, so we're number one in that too," Kimmel quipped.

    Pool Etiquette
    Don't swim when you have diarrhea

    Avoid swallowing pool water

    Shower before swimming

    Wash your hands after using toilet or changing diapers

    Take children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often

    Change diapers in bathroom and not at poolside

    Source: CDC Sometimes, an indoor swimming pool will emit a strong chemical smell. The swimmers have coughs or red, stinging eyes after emerging from the pool. Usually those symptoms get dismissed as the effects of chlorine, but their causes are something more organic.

    When swimmers sweat or urinate in the pool water, the bodily fluids combine with the chlorine. It creates chloramines, which causes the strange odor and the eye and respiratory irritations for swimmers, according to the CDC.

    No matter how discreet the act may be, "you're contaminating the pool. Let's face it," said Linda Golodner, the vice chairwoman of the Water Quality and Health Council.

    The survey released by Golodner's group, which advises the American Chemistry Council, found that 11 percent of the surveyed adults said they have swum with a runny nose, 7 percent with an exposed rash or cut and 1 percent when ill with diarrhea. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

    The most common recreational water illness is spread through diarrhea. One of the most persistent problems is Cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes diarrhea and can be found in infected stools.

    "With Crypto, if you have diarrhea, it's very watery," Hlavsa said. "It's not a formed stool sitting in the pool or floating on top. It could be very watery, and no one [in a pool] would know."

    During the past two decades, Crypto has become one of the most common causes of waterborne illness.

    Unlike E. coli and salmonella, Crypto can resist chlorine. In 2007, the parasite sickened more than 1,200 people who had visited recreational water facilities in Utah.

    According to the CDC, if someone swallows water that has been contaminated with feces, he or she may become sick even if very little water is consumed.

    The agency also recommends that people shower before a swim, because most people have traces of feces on their bottoms, which can contaminate recreational water. In the Water Quality survey, 35 percent reported skipping a shower before swimming.

    Health Library Avoid health risks with kids swimming
    Recreational water illnesses have been on the rise for the past two decades, according to the CDC. From 2005 to 2006, the agency reported 78 outbreaks of recreational water illnesses associated with swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, lakes, rivers and oceans that affected 4,412 people and resulted in 116 hospitalizations and five deaths.

    Melanie Arthur, a mother of two in The Woodlands, Texas, maintains a swimming pool where her children play.

    "We are going to great lengths to train our 3-year-old to not go potty in the pool but to get out and go inside the house," Arthur said. "After maintaining our own pool, I hesitate to go to public pools. I am certain that they are not nearly as clean as my own."

    Just practice good hygiene when going for a swim, Hlavsa advised.

    "It's all about balancing risks," she said. "We think swimming is a great way to be physically active with family and friends." Check the CDC Web site for more on healthy swimming

    And remember, if you pee in the pool, you have to swim in it, too.

    Here are tips to make sure the pool is clean:

    • Look at the pool to see whether it's clean and clear, and the drain is visible.

    • Listen for pool equipment, because the pool pumps and filters should make noise.

    • Feel the tiles and pool sides. They should not be sticky or slippery.

    • Beware of a strong chemical odor. A well-chlorinated pool has little odor.

    So how do you keep the pee out of your pool?
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Pee in the Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by krcossin
    So how do you keep the pee out of your pool?
    If you want to maintain harmony in your marriage, then you don't keep the pee out of your pool -- see this thread.

    Most of what is in urine is urea which reacts somewhat slowly with chlorine and isn't volatile. It's the smaller amount of ammonia in urine that reacts more quickly and that can be more irritating, including disinfection by-products such as nitrogen trichloride when reacting with chlorine. This is more of a problem in pools with no Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water, such as most indoor pools, since the active chlorine level is orders-of-magnitude higher. In a properly maintained pool with CYA, there should be far less respiratory and ocular problems, though you will measure some Combined Chlorine (CC).

    One cup of urine in a 10,000 gallon pool would only increase the CC by 0.004 ppm immediately (after mixing with the bulk pool water) and even with the urea and other compounds the CC would only slowly increase the CC by about 0.08 ppm and perhaps take around 0.12 ppm FC total [EDIT] actually, it's closer to 0.6 ppm FC [END-EDIT] (including the amount that formed the CC) to get rid of. So it really takes a pool full of urinating children (or adults!) to cause noticeable problems. This is why virtually all of the reported respiratory and ocular problems are with indoor pools (most likely with no CYA) with higher bather loads.

    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry
    budster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Savannah Historic District

    Re: Pee in the Pool

    Chem Geek, your referenced thread is a riot! Thanks, for the giggle.

    As to the original question, you can't keep pee out of the pool unless you keep swimmers out. All the other advice is excellent.

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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