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CLEVELAND (CBS Cleveland) — You better think twice before you jump into that public pool.
A recent survey conducted by Water Quality & Health Council found that one in five adults urinates in the pool.
“No matter how easy it is to pee anonymously in the pool, swimmers should avoid doing so and take their children on frequent bathroom breaks,” Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, said in a press release. “Pool operators should also monitor and maintain proper pool water chemistry, especially pH and chlorine levels, which (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) calls ‘the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.’”
The study also found that nearly 70 percent of people do not shower before taking a dip in the pool, essentially using it as a type of bath.
“Swimming is not a substitute for bathing. Too many people unknowingly treat the pool as a communal bathtub,” Wiant said in the release. “It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to shower before you jump in the pool to help keep swimming healthy for everyone in the pool.”
Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, added: “The pre-swim shower removes a lot of the sweat, cosmetics and urine that can mix with chlorine to create irritants in pool water. These irritants, not the chlorine itself, cause red eyes when we swim and the strong chemical smell of some pools.”