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Home » Health

Don’t pee in the pool – apparently we need to hear that

Submitted by on Friday, 22 May 2009 4 Comments
poolIs it necessary for Centers for Disease Control experts to remind us to not pee in the pool? Don't they have more important things to handle, like maybe swine flu or West Nile?

Do we really need the government to remind us to wipe our kids' butts before they go swimming?

Apparently we do. According to cnn.com, 17 percent of Americans admit to relieving themselves in the pool. Count Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps among them. He estimates that Americans are the nationality most likely to pee in the water.

And you thought itchy skin and green hair from pool chemicals were the only hazards. Wrong.

Illnesses caused by chlorine-resistant germs and spread mainly through - how to put this delicately? - body fluids are a big danger, too, the CDC says.  The most common source of contamination is diarrhea.

To make it even worse, unavoidable sweat and not so accidental urine can combine with chlorine to irritate eyes and noses. There's also head lice. And pinworm. If I keep reading, I'm going to take my chances and tell the guys to dive into the nearest canal to cool off. Letting the sprinklers run all summer also is sounding like a viable option, drought be damned.

I'm still tripping on the 17 percent statistic. That's almost one in five.

So if you see a handful of people already in the water, know that there's a statistical chance one of them was too lazy to get out and go. Don't rely on a relieved look giving them away. There are guides online to peeing in the pool without getting caught, and No. 4  stresses the need for a casual expression.

Don't count on magical urine-detecting dye pointing out the culprit either. That's a myth. I might try pulling that one on the guys this summer, though. Anything to keep them out of the canals.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments »

  • Steven Munatones said:

    I knew a lot of people urinated in the open water (oceans, lakes, rivers) – see http://www.10kswimmer.com/2009/04/urination-in-open-water.html – but I didn’t know so many people peed in the pool. Thank you very much for sharing this information.

  • MtnMom said:

    This is the truth: I am sitting in the hotel room waiting for my daughter to come back from the pool and tell me whether or not the pool is really heated. To pass time I click on to your blog and this is what I read. This must be a sign. Not that I shouldn’t swim but that I should line the family and friends up and tell ‘em I’m not swimming unless they go in to the restroom and remove fecal matter from their bodies. I think then that I shall be banned from hanging out with the group this evening.

  • MtnMom said:

    P.S. Get it. P.S. But not in the pool. I promise. Off to the pool we go and I’ll let you know if anything eventful happens. I’m putting the teen up to testing the pee in the water dye. Not that she will. I know she won’t. But I am going to pass that myth along to the crowd and leave out the part that it’s a myth.

  • Debra said:

    Good plan! I finally got the guys’ pool set up this afternoon and, unfortunately, they were with me when I went to buy the gear so I couldn’t purchase the “dye.” But you can bet the next time I’m shopping alone I will!

    By the way, I’m stunned that the pool was really and truly heated. We had one of those when we were on vacation last month and it almost was too cold for Dad, who under normal circumstances resembles a reincarnated polar bear.