Yes, there is pee in that public pool. Lots of it, perhaps up to 20 gallons in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
A new study by Canadian researchers confirms everyone’s worst suspicions about public swimming pools and hot tubs.
Researchers tested the water in 31 pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities — and all 250 water samples showed elevated levels of a urinary marker higher than in tap water in those communities.
Their findings were published Wednesday.
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, admitted that he pees in the pool before the 2012 Olympics in London. Fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte backed up his teammate.
“Chlorine kills it, so it’s not so bad,” Phelps said.
But that might not be true.
The researchers, working for the University of Alberta in Edmonton, used acesulfame-K (ACE-K), a synthetic sweetener that is not broken down by the body before it reaches urine, as the marker. The sweetener is in lots of products, including soda, diary produces, jellies, breakfast cereals and salad dressings.
Science indicates that all the pee in pools might actually do some harm. The urine mixes with the chemicals in the pool to create cyanogen chloride, which is classified as a chemical weapon, though not enough to kill you.
“I view it like secondhand smoke,” Blatchley told NPR. "It's disrespectful and potentially dangerous.”