CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


The Engineer's Notebook Blog

The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

Previous in Blog: Predicting the Future   Next in Blog: Strange Languages
Close
Close
Close
26 comments

You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

Posted March 11, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: pools Urine

There is now no question about it. Every time you get into a community pool or hot tub, you are submersing yourself in a vat teeming with the urine of strangers (or, just as likely, the urine of the folks you do know). Because it seems, if there is any truth to a recent investigation conducted in Canada, that we are all urinating while we swim.

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, conducted a study of 31 pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities. Of the 31 pools and hot tubs tested, evidence of urine was found in each and every one of them. Not a surprising statistic considering that 19% of adults (in an anonymous survey) admitted to urinating in pools at least once in their lifetimes.

According to the study, on average, 8 gallons of urine were found in 110,000-gallon pools; 18.5 gallons of urine were found in 220,000-gallon pools. For hot tubs, the urine levels were higher with three times the urine than in the pools with the highest urine concentrations.

Researchers were able to determine the presence of urine by measuring the amount of an artificial sweetener (Acesulfmae Potassium, or ACE)—an ingredient in soups, diet sodas, candy, yogurt, and other processed foods—found in pools and hot tubs. Because 95% of the artificial sweetener passes through the body unchanged, it was discovered to be a decent indicator of the presence of urine.

Aside from the ick-factor, there are a few side effects to swimming in the “contaminated” water. Although urine is sterile, its subsequent byproducts from reacting with pool disinfectants might cause eye and respiratory irritation, with long-term exposure (mostly for professional swimmers and pool workers) linked to asthma.

However, the most disturbing revelation of this investigation was that a once-relied upon method for keeping me in the pool is the stuff of urban legend. The dye cloud that allegedly appears once a person begins to relieve themselves is a work of fiction created by clean-pool advocates hoping to humiliate young swimmers from urinating in the pool. A device that worked so effectively that I relied on it, perhaps too much, as a method of keeping clear of urinating swimmers.

Evidently, that tactic didn’t work for everyone….

Will this make you reconsider swimming in public pools?

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 750
Good Answers: 8
#1

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 7:08 AM

Well, I would not agree to some point. It is most likely people who urinates on pools are the ones who is often not enjoying swing in it. Unless if that someone body is so unethically stupid.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5760
Good Answers: 578
#2

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 7:36 AM

Don't breathe either, people pass gas.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 19296
Good Answers: 1129
#3

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 12:40 PM

This seems exaggerated....but I guess it depends on how many kids you have in the pool....and how long the're in there....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8399
Good Answers: 771
#4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 1:04 PM

I grew up out in the country and swam in the stream that ran through the property every year since I was too young to remember.

The same stream that was full of all sorts of aquatic life plus caught the runoff from the barnyard and manure piles of our place and every other farm and field upstream from us.

I have also swam in rivers, lakes and even an ocean or two.

Still here and still very much alive and healthy (probably a bit above average on the alive and healthy for my age part because of too!)

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 19296
Good Answers: 1129
#5
In reply to #4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 1:25 PM

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...just ask any antibiotic-resistant superbug....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5760
Good Answers: 578
#7
In reply to #4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 6:29 PM

I grew up near a river and swam in it once. Once I dropped my camera in, and when I fished it out, the film was developed!

Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13569
Good Answers: 155
#17
In reply to #4

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 11:36 AM

Yeah, but look at yourself, and how all that manure has affected your thinking, ol' buddy! Hey I am just kidding, now, don't get all riled up and go on the warpath.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
2
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 26721
Good Answers: 701
#6

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 6:09 PM

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
3
Associate

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 31
Good Answers: 4
#8
In reply to #6

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/11/2017 11:06 PM

Speaking of common risks, this is something everyone should be aware of:

Dihydrogen Monoxide is a prevalent compound that is the key ingredient in most pesticides. DHMO contributes to environmental hazards such as acid rain, the greenhouse effect, and soil erosion. DHMO poisoning causes a sometimes fatal electrolyte imbalance in the bloodstream, and can cause excessive sweating, increased urination, and sometimes vomiting. Dihydrogen Monoxide also reacts explosively with alkaline earth metals such as lithium, sodium, potassium etc.
Prolonged, unprotected exposure to solid DHMO, or inhaling it can be fatal.
Despite these dangers, DHMO is used ubiquitously by industries, and is readily available to the public. Join the fight, and help get this troublesome, and potentially lethal chemical banned.
SAY 'NO' TO DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE!

__________________
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
3
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8399
Good Answers: 771
#9
In reply to #8

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 1:24 PM

Yep and Nitrogen and Argon are asphyxiants yet we are regularly exposed to concentrations of them often exceeding 800,000 PPM in our breathable air without warning when CO2, another asphyxiant, has been proven to be potentially harmful at concentrations 400 times lower than that!

Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#10
In reply to #9

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 6:27 PM

I'll go along with the nitrogen danger, but, to be fair, the argon in the atmosphere does not exceed 10,000 PPM. CO2 becomes toxic at around 120,000 PPM, but the natural concentration in the atmosphere is 400 PPM.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8399
Good Answers: 771
#11
In reply to #10

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/12/2017 7:44 PM

Yea at just short of 1% by volume Argon isn't a big deal but as for CO2

OSHA and the EPA seem to now feel that anything over 1000 PPM is dangerous for long term exposure.

Carbon Dioxide Exposure Limits.

And you know how people (who don't understand things) are scared shytless of everything (even if they are exposed to it all day long everyday) because if XX of one thing is bad XXXX of something else must be 100 times worse or because it is bad someplace in a very specific and highly circumstantial conditions it must be bad every where all the time regardless.

Especially if it's got a scary sounding technical name like (Dihydrogen Monoxide) or is a popular keyword or substance in scaremongering media and special interest groups.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#12
In reply to #11

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 5:26 AM

No objection to setting 1000 PPM as a limit for CO2 as a workplace exposure, but it would be stretching the point to call that toxic. The concentrations of inhaled gases used to be my bread and butter as an anaesthetist, so I can inform you that CO2 in that sort of concentration is a mild respiratory stimulant and raises the blood pressure and pulse slightly, roughly comparable to going jogging. At 120,000 PPM it ceases to be a stimulant and becomes a respiratory depressant and narcotic. Now that's what I call toxic.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8399
Good Answers: 771
#15
In reply to #12

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 7:02 PM

I don't make the rules. I just scratch my head and wonder at what idiots did and why.

But then I think about how ignorant the majority of the population is on most any technical topic plus how many believe the if something is potentially harmful one level it must mean that it's bad at all levels.

Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13569
Good Answers: 155
#18
In reply to #8

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 11:40 AM

DMHO is very deadly when it is allowed to condense and run into low lying areas, where some bugs and very short people who cannot swim could enter.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 4179
Good Answers: 235
#13

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 3:56 PM

Is there a chance that this chemical compound is also exuded from the skin as well from sweat glands which have ready access to the bloodstream?

That would severely skew the results of this 'study' which reeks of a certain hue of journalism. Hot tubs would make people's skin even more 'active' than regular swimming pools.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#14
In reply to #13

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 5:29 PM

No, acesulfame potassium is not excreted in sweat and does not pass through the skin by any other means.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 4179
Good Answers: 235
#16
In reply to #14

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/13/2017 8:25 PM

OK, thanks. Just had to wonder though.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6569
Good Answers: 242
#20
In reply to #14

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/30/2017 3:54 AM

Have any reference for Ace K not coming out in perspiration?

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#21
In reply to #20

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/30/2017 6:09 AM

I refer you to post #14. If Ace K does not come out in sweat it does not come out in perspiration.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6569
Good Answers: 242
#22
In reply to #21

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/30/2017 12:23 PM

Wow. You exhibit some remarkable characteristics. Definitely a statistical outlier.

Please note #14 was the comment to which I was replying. I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that you would have no trouble understanding I was talking about your claim that Ace K does not come out in 'sweat'. I didn't mean to confuse you a big word like perspiration.

.

You state definitively it does not come out in 'sweat' or otherwise permeate the skin. I'm wondering if you have any basis for the claim that you can share.

It is a potassium salt and not very large. It isn't broken down in the body and is very water soluble. Seems like something more likely than not to come out in 'sweat' as well as urine.

.

What do you say? When you make a difinitive statement as fact, is it likely to be base on good evidence and sound logic? or is it better to see it as fanciful conjecture masquerading as 'fact'?

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Reply Off Topic (Score 6)
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#23
In reply to #22

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/31/2017 5:34 AM

Trolling gets you nowhere.

Reply Off Topic (Score 4)
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6569
Good Answers: 242
#24
In reply to #23

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/31/2017 7:56 AM

Sad that you would portray a request for a reference as trolling.

It is not unreasonable when someone makes an unqualified absolute definitive statement, such as you made, to request support for such a claim.

It would be reasonable to respond by providing such a reference, or, alternately by qualifying the statement by providing a disclaimer such as "comments written under the name phph001 are not to be taken as factual....although the statements read as definitive claims of fact, they are meant as a satire of reality and should not be trusted".....or words to that effect.

.

Claiming a request for support for your claims is an act of trolling is simply an ad hominem attack and in itself an act of trolling.

.

Please provide support for your claim or qualify your statement as non-factual.

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1197
Good Answers: 23
#25
In reply to #24

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/31/2017 8:43 AM

1. My profession was medicine. I am not an engineer, but you may accept that when I make a statement about the function of the human body then I know what I am talking about.

2. The function of a sweat gland is such an elementary item of human biology that it does not require a formal scientific reference from me.

3. you have been trolling. Please do not continue to do so.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6569
Good Answers: 242
#26
In reply to #25

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/31/2017 9:02 AM

If your profession was medicine and eschew finding a reference because that finding a reference for something elementary somehow belittles your sense of importance, then it is a good thing it 'was' and not 'is' your profession.

Perspiration may be an 'elementary item' to you, but which specific chemicals might be present in sweat is not such basic information. Even and anesthetist tech should be aware of that.

If this is so rudimentary as to insult you somehow, take this opportunity to show me exactly how rudementary it is by linking to a reference backing up your claim. This is such an easy way to win this argument and regain the possibility of being revered as a medical expert, failing to do so really does not bode well for any positive reputation you seem to be attempting to cultivate.

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5760
Good Answers: 578
#19

Re: You Are Swimming in a Pool…of Urine

03/15/2017 12:57 PM

The yellow color gives it away. It should be blue.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 26 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Brave Sir Robin (2); gutmonarch (1); James Stewart (2); Lenp (1); phph001 (6); PWSlack (1); Rixter (3); SolarEagle (2); tcmtech (4); truth is not a compromise (4)

Previous in Blog: Predicting the Future   Next in Blog: Strange Languages

Advertisement