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Friday, 10 March 2017 11:04

What Really Happens When You Pee in the Pool?

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Let's be honest – at one point or another, most of us have peed in the pool. Whether we want to admit it or not, swimming pools are often used as a toilet. It might sound funny at first, but that’s before you stop to consider the potential health hazards.


The next time you are in a pool and need to go, get out of the water and use the toilets. Sanitation and courtesy go a long way to preventing the spread of disease.


Chemical Imbalance


Urine contains a waste product called urea. Urea is made when your liver breaks down protein. It is filtered through your kidneys and extracted in urine.


When urea reacts with chlorine it creates a chemical compound called trichloramine. Also, known as nitrogen trichloride, this is an oily, yellow liquid with a strong, distinct smell. 


Another chemical that can be blamed on peeing in the pool is cyanogen chloride. This occurs when chlorine from the pool is mixed with the nitrogen in urine. Much like tear gas, it affects your eyes, lungs and nose, causing severe irritation. In some cases, the chemicals can even cause an asthma attack.


Health Hazard


In an interview at the 2012 Summer Olympics, 23-time gold medallist Michael Phelps admitted that most swimmers pee in the pool. The Olympian reassured us by telling the audience that chlorine kills it all, but that’s not exactly true. In fact, urine and chlorine don’t go well together at all.


Even if you are Michael Phelps, Trichloramine can cause a range of health issues, including:

  • Red, stinging eyes
  • Asthma
  • Upper respiratory symptoms (sinusitis, hoarseness, loss of voice)


Employees at swimming pools are more exposed to high levels of trichloramine and their chances of developing upper respiratory symptoms increase drastically. Cyanogen chloride (the other chemical reaction) not only affects your lungs; constant exposure to the chemical can cause:

  • Eye irritation
  • Chest pains
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Nosebleeds (worst case scenario)

What You Can Do


Luckily, it’s easy to stop spreading these symptoms for yourself. The next time you’re at your local pool and need to go to the toilet, get out of the water and use the facilities. Those extra steps might seem unappealing, but they’re a whole lot nicer than a mouthful of pee!


As a leading pool builder in Sydney, our team takes enormous pride in our work. If you’ve got a swimming pool in your backyard, taking care of it is just as important! If you’re concerned about the health of your pool water, come into our pool shop in Penrith or give us a call. Our friendly staff can give you the best products and advice to keep your pool clean all year round.


If you’re after a new pool then we can help you with that too. From custom design to construction, our team can take care of it for you. If you would more information about our services, get in touch with us today.

Read 506 times Last modified on Friday, 10 March 2017 11:18

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