We all look forward to summer, RIGHT?  One reason is that we get to spend time at the pool, soaking up the sun and also staying nice and cool as we take a dip in the water. Swimming can be an excellent source of exercise for the body but when it comes to swimming in public pools you might want to think again about what you're actually swimming in.

“One research study discovered that over the course of three weeks, two swimming pools in Canada accumulated a whole lot of pee. The first, larger pool, contained about 110,000 gallons of water. But another 8 gallons? That was urine. The second, smaller pool containing 220,000 gallons of water registered positive for 20 gallons, or 75 liters, of urine.”

You may also think that it’s not that bad swimming in your pee, considering that your pee is pretty sterile and pure and that the chlorine in the water helps to purify it. WRONG!

If your thinking that or HAVE thought that in the past, you may want to know the risks of swimming consistently in other people’s pee. There are some risks.


I’ve often come home from swimming in the pool to find that my eyes are really red, and my nose is runny.  I usually shrug it off thinking it’ll go away the next day and thinking that it comes from the chlorine in the pool. Redness in your eyes after swimming actually comes from chemicals in the pool that is mixed with urine as well as the bodily fluids that come off of your body DURING your swim, like dirt, body odor, and even POOP! And where we don’t think that someone would purposely poop in the pool, let's just say with lots of kids that are or aren’t potty trained, it happens more often than not!

Trichloramine, is a nitrogen-containing compound that can react with pool disinfectants which result in byproducts and abnormalities that end up affecting our bodies if we are constantly exposed to them on a regular basis. These reactions can result in asthma symptoms and also respiratory symptoms.


While we probably don’t have to avoid public pools altogether there may be some things that we can avoid or protect yourself against while you are swimming in public pools. Here is some common “pool etiquette.”


  • Take a quick shower before getting in the pool-this ensures that any dirt or sweat won’t enter the swimming pool and affect others
  • Avoid body lotions and fragrances if you know you’ll be swimming that day
  • Take your kids frequently to the bathroom so they know it’s not okay to pee/poo in the pool, and make sure to wash your hands after going


  • If you’ve been sick or feeling sick just avoid the pool at all costs on those days. That ensures that others won’t be getting what you are your kids have
  • Don’t be afraid to ask how often the pool gets treated.
  • Don’t swallow pool water (seems like common sense but it happens)
  • Make it to the toilet, don’t pee in the pool!


These might be things you haven’t considered before, but it could be worse than you think.

While swimming in a public pool once or twice a season may not have an impact on your health, these are still good precautions to take with you as you and your children decide to take a swim.

Mostly, be courteous of others that will be swimming with you so they don’t run the risk of sickness or illness while having a fun time at the pool!