Do you wonder sometimes how to tell if somebody peed in the pool? One of the most common pool myths is the one where parents tell the kids they put a chemical in the water that will turn blue or purple (pick a color) if they pee in the pool. That is not remotely true (even if we might kind of wish for it). Nothing of the kind exists. However, when it comes to pee being in the pool, you may as well resign yourself to the fact that there probably is some in there. Unfortunately, there are often traces of urine in most swimming pools. Not good, right? Wondering what to do about this unsavory situation? We’ve got some ideas.
What’s That Smell?
When chlorine is combined with sweat, urine, and body oils a chemical reaction occurs. You know that strong odor we think of as “chlorine”? It isn’t just chlorine. It is a chemical compound called chloramines which forms when chlorine mixes with those substances. Worst case scenario, a chemical gas called cyanogen chloride can form, which is actually quite dangerous, causing red eyes, skin issues, and breathing problems. Fortunately, the large volume of water in the typical residential pool dilutes the much smaller percentage of urine, so the harm to you will be negligible. If you smell a bad odor though, you need to take action.
It is a common misconception that if something nasty, such as urine, gets into the pool water, the chlorine will magically dispel it. Not exactly. What happens is the chemical reaction described above. Chlorine will kill any bacteria in urine but cannot remove the urine itself. The only way to get rid of urine in pool water is to drain the pool and refill it. Hopefully, the situation will not call for such drastic measures.
What is an Immediate Remedy?
An immediate remedy when you suspect somebody has peed in the pool is to shock it. Adding shock is putting a large dose of free chlorine into the pool water. This heavy chlorine load will cause a further chemical reaction, turning those chloramines into nitrates. The icky smell will dissipate, and your pool water will be more sanitary and safer for swimming.
How to Put an End to People Peeing in the Pool?
The best way to make sure nobody peed in the pool is education. Make sure your kids and their guests understand that if they pee in the pool, it will stay there, and that’s what they will be swimming in. Here are some additional measures you can take:
- Put up a sign indicating the pool is not a toilet
- Require users to shower before entering the pool to remove sweat and body oils
- Make sure everyone knows where the bathroom is and uses it before entering the pool
- Take frequent bathroom breaks
Managing the Situation
You can take some preventative measures to ensure that your swimming pool water is in its best possible condition at all times.
- Make sure your pump and filtration systems are working efficiently
- Know the proper chemical balance for your pool water, test often, and maintain that balance for a sanitary pool
- Add enzymes to your pool water from time to time. Enzymes boost the efficacy of chlorine and can also break down organic matter such as urea
- Always shock the pool after heavy usage
How to tell if somebody peed in the pool? Well, you can’t unfortunately. The best course of action is to assume that it happens from time to time and take preventative measures. Educating users and managing behavior by suggesting showering first and frequent bathroom breaks could work wonders. Shock your pool after a swim gathering. In particular, make sure your water is balanced and that you use enzymes as needed. And always remember that Aqua Pools is your first line of defense with great pool sanitation products and testing supplies.