A team of researchers in Canada studied various sized swimming pools over a three-week period to determine just how much urine was present.

The team looked at one specific solution: an artificial sweetener called acesulfame potassium (ACE) which is found in a variety of consumer products including ice cream, salad dressings, and soda.  ACE cannot be broken down by the human body, and it can be detected even in water of varying pH levels and temperatures.

The team studied two public pools of different sizes, one containing 110,000 gallons of water, with the other holding 220,000 gallons.  Over a three-week period, swimmers released 7.92 gallons of pee into the smaller pool, and 20 gallons into the larger one!  The team also collected date from 31 other pools, and found that ACE levels were up to 570 times greater than the amount of pee found in tap water.

Unfortunately, there is no official method to test for the amount of urine in pools, and no way of knowing there currently is any in the pool you are in.  Lindsay Blackstock, a graduate student from the University of Alberta wants everyone to increase their public education of swimming pools.  She suggested “that all pool users should rinse off excess personal care products in the provided showers before entering public pools.  Additionally, we should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom.”

Via Huffington Post

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