How much pee is in the typical swimming pool? You don't want to know

Posted at 1:21 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 10:03:14-04

(RNN) - In a study that aims to discover how much urine is in the typical swimming pool, Canadian researchers have discovered your fellow human has far less decency than you give them credit for.

The study - published Wednesday in Environmental Science & Letters - was conducted by searching for the presence of a synthetic sweetener called "acesulfame-K (ACE)." The chemical is present in many foods.

For three weeks, researchers measured the ACE concentrations in two different pools - what they found is grisly and disturbing.

The researchers estimated one 220,000 gallon pool had close to 20 gallons of pee in it, according to CBS News. The other, smaller pool had less than half of that amount.

The study also collected 250 samples from 31 pools and hot tubs, where ACE was present in 100 percent of the samples.

The findings are not meant to simply instill terror - the study's authors said that urine-filled swimming pools pose a real "public health concern."

When urine - which is sterile - meets chemicals such as chlorine, the resulting compound can be irritating to the human body. Exposure to these compounds has been linked to numerous health issues, the most devastating of which is asthma.

The CDC reports that thousands of swimming pools are forced to close across the U.S. each year due to insufficient pH levels. Higher pH levels constitute more acidity - a vital aspect to keeping germs from growing in public waters.

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