The Truth About Public Pools May Stop You From Swimming This Summer

swimming poolAs hard as I try not to think about it, every time I enter a public swimming pool, I'm always a little bit worried that it's not exactly the cleanest environment. You just can't have a huge body of water with tons of people frolicking in it without having someone slip and relieve themselves right there instead of getting out to use the restroom once in a while. And as much as I'd like to believe that people can control their urges, a new survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council revealed that 1 in 5 adults admits to peeing in a pool.

Please excuse me while I gag, faint, or do a combination of both. Oh. My. GOSH. Can you say disgusting?! And the worst part of this survey is also the scariest. Because it said that 1 in 5 people admit to urinating in the pool. And you know there are more out of the group who simply didn't want to fess up. (Ahhhh!!!!)


If there's any good news to these findings, I guess hearing that pools are safe if they're chlorinated properly, even if someone does have an "accident" while swimming does provide a little comfort. But out of all of the pools tested, 54 percent flunked with their chlorine levels, and 47 percent had the wrong pH balance going on. (Just what my OCD side needed to hear.)

More from The Stir: Tips for Making Sure a Public Swimming Pool Is Clean Enough for Your Kid

And you don't even want to hear about the other germs that can be spread around like wildfire when swimmers are exposed to them. You know those signs that most people ignore saying you're supposed to shower before entering the pool? Yeah, those are there for a reason. Apparently germs (including fecal matter) can be transmitted to everyone in the pool the minute someone who is contaminated steps in. (GROSS!)

Huh. I guess I'll pay more attention to those signs from now on. And I'll probably be paying a lot more attention to the other people in the pool as well. The last thing I want to see is someone sipping drink after drink while leaning against the side of the pool and oddly never getting out to use the bathroom.

But honestly, I probably never should've opened the article talking about the results of the survey, because odds are good that I'll be way too freaked out to stick so much as one toe inside a public swimming pool ever again. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how hot it gets this summer. It's gonna have to be a real steamer for me to risk being involuntarily covered in other people's pee (and God knows what else).

Be honest -- have you ever relieved yourself in a pool, other than when you were a little kid?


Image via gailf548/Flickr

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