BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Have you ever wondered how much pee is in a swimming pool? A team of Canadian researchers decided to test several swimming pools to see how much pee they contain and they found higher quantities than you would expect.
You all know of the myth of the dye that changes color when you pee in a swimming pool that all parents tell their children to stop them from this nasty habit. There are still some ways that can keep track of urine in pools.
The researchers from the University of Alberta tested public swimming pools from Canada and in one, which was third of the size of an Olympic pool, contained the incredibly high quantity of 75 liters of urine.
How did they find out? They took water samples from the pools and tested them for acesuflame potassium (ACE), an artificial sweetener found in many processed foods, ranging from dairy products to chewing gum.
This is the perfect way to spot urine, since ACE cannot be found naturally in the environment, therefore it cannot appear in swimming pools in other ways. Also, around 95 percent of ACE that humans consume is eliminated through urine.
Thus, the researchers looked for ACE in the water samples and then calculated how much there was by volume. Then, they could tell an estimate of how much pee there was in the pools and the results might disgust you a little.
The researchers tested 31 pools and jacuzzis from two Canadian cities and they found pee in each of them. They discovered 75 liters of urine in a large swimming pool, with a volume of about 830,000 liters. To better understand what this means, it constitutes around 0.009 percent of the entire volume of the pool. It might not sound so much now, but many people would prefer pee to be absent from pools.
Anyway, swimming pools still have a decent amount of pee in them, if we may call it like that. The tests on the eight jacuzzis revealed that they contained more pee than the pools, and one hotel jacuzzi had three times more urine than the pool which scored the worst.
Urine, since it is sterile, should not cause much trouble, but its components, such as creatinine, amino acids, and ammonia, interact with the chemicals from swimming pools. Thus, they can form disinfectant byproducts that cause eye irritation and respiratory problems.
Thus, next time you might want to think twice before doing the nasty job in a swimming pool.
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