Cynics, rejoice. It’s official - people are definitely peeing in swimming pools.
Scientists have now confirmed what many of us have long suspected.
The scientists, from the University of Alberta in Canada, developed a test that estimates how much urine has been added to water, by measuring levels of artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, which is commonly found in processed food.
They measured the levels of the sweetener in 31 swimming pools and hot tubs in Canada over three weeks, and found swimmers had, er, relieved themselves of 75 litres of urine altogether.
It sounds like a lot, but just for some perspective it looks like this:
The scientists, who shared their findings in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, found that the concentration of urine was much higher in hot tubs.
Apart from it being disgusting, the study states this is actually unhealthy too:
Human urinary input into swimming pools is a public health concern, although urine itself is sterile.
Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine.
Exposure to volatile disinfection byproducts… in indoor swimming pools can lead to eye and respiratory irritation and has been linked to occupational asthma.
And don’t forget the vomiting.