Have you ever wondered, “Does chlorine remove urine from my pool water?” We all know that people peeing in swimming pools is all too common. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that some level of urine is found in most swimming pools. Many people have the misconception that chlorine will “kill” or remove any urine found in the pool water. Nope, that isn’t how it works. Chlorine will kill bacteria, but since urine is basically sterile, there is nothing for the chlorine to “kill.” Furthermore, chlorine does nothing to “remove” the urine from the water. If someone pees in the pool, it is there to stay. Now you are thinking, “That’s a fine kettle of fish. Can’t anything be done about it?” Read on and learn some tips on what you can do, and more importantly how to prevent urine from contaminating your pool in the first place.
How Much Urine is Actually in There?
Fortunately, the amount of urine in a private home pool is typically negligible. The concentration of a small amount of urine to the large volume of water in the pool will usually have no detectable effect. Because there are less swimmers in a residential pool than a public pool, you can know that the volume of urine to the volume of water in the pool is minuscule.
Can You Test for the Amount of Urine in the Pool?
There is no test to measure the amount of urine in a swimming pool. However, if people pee in the pool over the course of a summer, for example, you may begin to notice a strong odor of chlorine as the level of urine becomes more concentrated. Disgusting, right?
Why Does the Pool Smell Bad?
There is a reason you are noticing a strong odor of chlorine once significant amounts of urine have built up. That sharp smell of chlorine you may recall from the public pools of your youth? That’s what it smells like when urine and chlorine mix together, and chloramines are produced. It turns out that when urine mixes with chlorine it produces two chemicals. Cyanogen chloride and trichloramine. And scientific studies show that is not a good thing.
What Happens If You Swim in It?
High levels of chloramines in your swimming pool water can cause irritation to the eyes and skin. Cyanogen chloride is a very dangerous chemical that forms when the nitrogen in urine meets up with chlorine. In high concentrations, this chemical is highly toxic. In small amounts, it can cause irritation to the lungs, nose, and respiratory system. Now, it is never going to happen that such a large amount of cyanogen chloride could build up in a swimming pool. Nevertheless, who wants to swim in a chemical stew, no matter how dilute it may be?
Can You Get Rid of Chloramines?
You can reduce the level of chloramines in your pool by administering more frequent doses of pool shock. This will destroy ammonia and other contaminants that cause an unpleasant odor. The addition of enzymes can also help break down urea and improve the overall quality of the water.
The Cure for Urine in the Pool is Prevention
Once urine gets into your pool water, it is pretty much there to stay. The best cure for this situation is prevention. Educate your pool users that the answer to the question “Does chlorine remove urine from my pool water?” is a resounding NO! Chlorine does not “kill” urine, nor does it remove it from the water. Be vigilant. Have kids go to the bathroom before entering the pool and take frequent bathroom breaks. If necessary, post humorous signs banning peeing in the pool. Just know that if the situation gets out of control, the only solution is to completely drain the pool and start over with fresh water.
Remember that if you want the cleanest pool in Chicagoland, your one-stop source is Aqua Pools. From pool chemicals to weekly pool service, we have what you need to address all your pool sanitation questions.