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Pee in the Pool Spells Big Trouble for Swimmers

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As swimming pool season gears into full swing, there are probably some things that you didn't want to know about going swimming. According to a recent study, many people use public swimming pools as their own personal toilets. While this information isn't meant to simply gross you out, it probably does nevertheless. But that isn't the worst of it, say doctors.

The survey, conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council, asked 1,000 people whether they urinate in pools. One in five admitted their mistake, and those are only those brave souls willing to admit it. Something about swimming in a body of water tends to diminish our inhibitions and we let loose. But WQHC chairmen and public health expert Dr. Chris Wiant says that this isn't a good idea. Hypothetically, if every pool's chlorine system and Ph balance were kept in perfect shape, germs in the water would be killed on contact. However, most pools are kept to high enough standards to ensure that this happens and those who pee in pools don't help the problem.

Dr. Wiant says that chlorine in pools is already working overtime to clean up the other germs that we bring into the pool–the ones on our skin such as fecal matter and sweat. If someone consumes a mouthful of water they are subject to possible E. coli contamination or Salmonella. The worst public pools are ones at water parks, but smaller public pools can also pose a health hazard. You can do your part to prevent waterborne germs by taking bathroom breaks, making sure your kids take bathroom breaks, and taking a shower before entering the pool.