Ah, summer. It’s the season we’ve all been waiting for, right?! Ice cream, flip flops, sundresses, and everyone’s favorite pastime: swimming! Whether you’re doggie paddling at the public pool, or churning out laps at your local athletic club, swimming is an exercise that everyone can enjoy!
But, throwing everyone into the equation can get a little tricky. We’re talking about peeing in the pool, people. And, according to research found in the Environmental Science and Technology Letters, there’s a good chance that everyone does it!
That all too familiar pool smell might be more familiar than you know…if you catch our drift.
The research team collected samples from 31 different hot tubs and pools and found evidence of urine in every. single. one. According to The Guardian, this was determined by measuring levels of acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K. Ace-K is an artificial sweetener that is used for diet soda, yogurt, and candy, among others. And, because it doesn’t occur in nature, it passes through our bodies (and into the pool. Ew!) unchanged.
Discovering this correlation means that on average, 8 gallons of urine were found in an 110,000-gallon pool and 18.5 gallons of urine in a 220,000-gallon pool. While that might not seem like much, hot tubs told a different story. Due to a smaller volume of water, the worst hot tub held three times the concentration than the worst swimming pool.
Don’t let this turn you away from swimming, though! Lindsay Blackstock, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, Edmonton said:
“We want to use this study to promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices. We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.”
Come on guys, the bathroom can’t be THAT far away.