The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®), has recommendations to improve water and air quality by reducing urine in pools. A few small changes by coaches, parents, and facility managers can prevent pee in the pool. After all, the swimmers, parents and coaches have the most to gain since they are the ones who are exposed to the water and breathing the air.
Just because one report suggests we should fear urine in the pool, people of all ages should continue to enjoy the wonder of water. Immersion and water activity can reduce lower-back pain, blood pressure, and arthritis symptoms, and improve mental and physical health. Recent science has shown that even the sight of water can improve one's mood.
First, everyone from swim coaches to parents should encourage showers and bathroom breaks before entering the water. It is important to recognize that being submerged in water stimulates the body to create more urine. There are other simple solutions that coaches, parents, and facility managers can incorporate that reduce pee in the pool.
Swim Coaches should require a bathroom break 30-60 minutes into the practice. For example, it takes about 40 minutes in the water for a person to feel the need to urinate. A short break that borders this time frame will reduce peeing in the pool.
Parents who frequent water parks, public pools, or backyard pools should schedule an “out of pool” time for a snack, sunscreen, and a bathroom break every 30-60 minutes.
Facility Managers should consider two ways to prevent pee in the pool. First, schedule short breaks to encourage people to exit the water. For example, a 10 minute “adult only” swim time or an out-of-pool activity every hour encourages people to exit the pool and use the bathroom. Second, post signage that suggests using the bathroom and showering before getting into the pool.
Air quality can also be improved upon for indoor facilities when we keep urine out of the water. What’s more, everyone from children to masters can gain the benefits of one of the most fun and healthy activities. When coaches, parents, and facility managers make small changes, the water we enjoy and air we breathe is healthier, safer, and better.