Up to 75 litres of urine were discovered in public swimming pools over a three week study.
“The test works by measuring the concentration of an artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE), that is commonly found in processed food and passes through the body unaltered,” explained The Guardian in a report. “After tracking the levels of the sweetener in two public pools in Canada over a three-week period they calculated that swimmers had released 75 litres of urine – enough to fill a medium-sized dustbin – into a large pool (about 830,000 litres, one-third the size of an Olympic pool) and 30 litres into a second pool, around half the size of the first.”
The study also revealed that hot-tubs were even more likely than pools to contain higher concentrations of urine.
“One hotel Jacuzzi had more than three times the concentration of sweetener than in the worst swimming pool,” The Guardian added, before claiming that all eight tested hot-tubs contained high urine traces.
“Our study provides additional evidence that people are indeed urinating in public pools and hot tubs,” proclaimed University of Alberta graduate student and lead author of the study, Lindsay Blackstock. “We did not monitor the number of pool users over the three week time period … so there is no way we could estimate the number of individual urination events per day.”
“We want to use this study to promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices,” she continued. “We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.”