Swimming in the hot months can be a wonderfully fun activity and good for health too. However, you would be quite surprised to know that although everyone knows that it is bad manners to pee in a swimming pool, not everyone follows it.
Too many people, including competitive swimmers and kids, ignore the “Do Not Urinate in the Swimming Pool” sign and do it anyway! Shocking I know.
Why Is Pee in a Pool Dangerous?
While the idea of swimming in a pool with pee is plain gross, this is quite a common occurrence. And, not only is the idea unappealing but when urine combines with chlorine that is used as a disinfectant in the pool it can form chemicals that are potentially harmful.
The smell of the swimming pool that we commonly associate with chlorine is actually produced by chloramines. When the level of chlorine in the swimming pool drops below the ideal level, it does not work effectively.
It doesn’t remove contaminants such as body oil, sweat and urine effectively, which combine with the leftover chlorine to form chloramines.
Urine and sweat contain uric acid, which comprises proteins and other substances, including nitrogen. The nitrogen combines with the chlorine in the pool to form trichloramine and cyanogen chloride. Trichloramine is extremely volatile and causes irritation to the throat and eyes and is extremely hazardous to health.
Trichloramine not only aggravates respiratory conditions such as asthma but is also known to cause them in professional swimmers. If a person using the pool suffers from asthma, the chloramines can trigger an attack and worsen the condition.
Another study revealed that children who swam frequently suffered from lung irritation compared to kids who did not. Pissing in the pool isn’t so funny now!
If you thought green pool water was a problem – think again!
Other Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pee in a Pool
Well, apart from causing health problems, there are other reasons why one should not urinate in the pool while swimming.
It Is Plain Gross. The thought of swimming in water with pee in it is plain gross and unpleasant. Imagine the gross feeling of touching the water in the toilet bowl after it has been peed into. Then you don’t really want your entire body in a swimming pool that people have urinated in.
Cleaning the Pool Is a Huge Task
Keeping the swimming pool clean is a big task. The time, cost and effort of keeping the water balanced with pool chemicals are huge. And, if someone pees into the swimming pool, you need to work hard to clean, sanitize and restore the water balance.
It Is Simply Being Lazy
If you are having a great time on a hot summer day swimming or floating in a clean pool and you really want to pee, it takes a few minutes to get out of the water and use the restroom.
Preventing Pee in the Pool
As discussed earlier, pee in the pool is the largest contributor to harmful by-products in the pool causing breathing, skin and eye problems. Preventing peeing in the swimming pool can ensure that people can enjoy the benefits of swimming without the hazardous side effects.
Here are a few simple ways by which you can help to reduce pee in the swimming pool:
- Put up signs (humorous or serious ones) asking people not to urinate in the pool.
- Post signs suggesting that pool users make use of the shower and toilet before getting into the swimming pool.
- Swim coaches can give students breaks every 30 to 60 minutes to use the bathroom. For instance, when a person is in the water for around 40 minutes, they develop the urge to urinate. Having a short break during this time frame will prevent people from peeing in the pool.
- As parents, you can schedule a snack break every 30 to 60 minutes to give your kids a chance to use the toilet.
- Facility managers of swimming pools can prevent peeing in the pool by scheduling short breaks that encourage people to get out of the water. For instance, an outside the pool activity every hour or an adult-only swim time for 10 minutes will encourage people to get out of the pool and use the restroom.
It may be difficult to prevent young kids from peeing in the pool because they are reluctant to get out of the water. So, it is a good idea to shock the swimming pool once younger children have swam in it.
This will prevent the contaminants from going into the plumbing and filtration systems and sanitize the water immediately. Doing this around mid-day will allow you to use the pool for the rest of the day.
Ensure that the pump remains on and wait for two hours at least for the chemicals to disappear before allowing anyone back into the pool. Or, you can wait until the evening or night, which is the best time to shock the pool and let the pump run overnight.
Typically, shocking the pool in the day causes the sunlight to eat the chlorine away before it can do the job of decontaminating the pool.
On the subject of chlorine – you might want to check my article about chlorine lock in your pool and how to fix it – learn something new!
What If Someone Pees in the Pool?
Regardless of how many signs you put up, how much you remind people or people may claim that they would never pee in the pool, it is something that’s bound to happen. If someone pees or poops in the water while swimming, here are a few things you can do.
- Get all the people out of the pool and ask them to have a shower immediately.
- If the waste is solid, then remove it immediately.
- Double shock your swimming pool. Double shock does not mean doing the process twice. It essentially means that you double the dose of what you use to shock the pool.
- Make sure to run the pump for two hours at least to ensure that the shock is distributed properly and the contaminants are filtered out from the water completely.
Clean and Healthy Swimming Tips
It is important for swimmers to understand that when you’re submerged in water, the body is stimulated to create more urine. So, here are some tips and tricks for healthy swimming.
- Before you get into the swimming pool, use the toilet. And, if you want to pee, use the restroom and not the pool.
- Always shower before a swim. This helps to reduce the amount of sweat, oils and other chemicals in the water.
- Take children for bathroom breaks and if the child is wearing diapers, check his/her diaper every hour. Change the diapers away from the pool to prevent the germs from getting into the water and contaminating it.
- Take care not to swallow the pool water.
- Use sunscreen to stay safe in the sun and reapply it according to the directions.
It is an irrefutable fact that people, despite whatever age they may be, pee in pools. However, now you know that peeing in the pool is hazardous and apart from poor sanitation, it causes skin and eye irritation and respiratory issues.
Here on Outdoor Care Guide I cover a lot of information on how to clean up or prevent pool water quality issues such as getting rid of pool foam or how to remove calcium scale. But urine in the pool is preventable and particularly gross!
While you may not be able to completely prevent people from peeing in your pool, with the tips and techniques that we have discussed in our article, you can educate people or at least ensure that they think twice before peeing in the pool. Each one of us has to do our part in keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.