Think Before Taking Swimming Lessons This Summer


Kolkata: Summer has already made its way into the city and the swimmers are once again enthusiastic about the resuming of the swimming classes. Once again the swimming centers would be full of application forms of potential swimmers.

But before you resume or decide to start your swimming lessons, do you have any idea about the amount of urine present in the pond? Atleast not in India, but the presence of urine in Canadian swimming pools is pretty high.

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The researchers at the University of Alberta developed a test to measure the amount of urine and took more than 250 samples from 31 pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities. The results showed one 830,000-litre pool, which is about one-third of an Olympic-sized pool, had 75 litres of urine while another smaller pool had 30 litres.

Humans introduce “a variety of chemicals” into recreational waters through bodily fluids, and the separate news of an overnight water colour change in the 2016 Rio Olympic pools highlight the need to monitor water quality, according to the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Although urine itself is sterile, its presence in swimming pools is a public health concern because urine can mix with pool chemicals to harm swimmers’ health, according to the study.

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Researchers measured for the substance acesulfame-K (ACE), an artificial sweetener that passes through the body completely and is “an ideal urinary marker,” according to the study.
It found concentrations of ACE in the pools and tubs, which were not named, that were up to 570-fold greater than in normal tap water. Researchers then used the ACE concentration of the two pools over three weeks to estimate their levels of urine, according to the study.