Guess Who’s Peeing in the Pool?

So who’s peeing in the pool? Kids, adults, and olympic athletes, that’s who.

See that kid with a funny look on his face? Chances are he’s peeing in the pool. A recent study shows that one in five swimmers admit to peeing in the pool. And that’s just the ones who admit to it. It turns out that 84 percent of us are fairly certain that it’s those other swimmers who are doing something to make the pool less healthy.

Even top athletes are doing it. “Nearly 100 percent of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool,” according to Carly Geehr, former USA Swimming National Team Member, in an article on Quora.

So how clean is the water in the pool? A survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council reveals that almost half of Americans say they’ve engaged in unhygienic behavior (including not showering) in and around the pool.

Despite the suspicion that other swimmers are less than hygienic, only about a third say that they give pool cleanliness any thought. Less than a quarter think about how often the pool is cleaned or what chemicals are used.

It’s not only pee you should be concerned about. Illness can be spread from when swimmers fail to shower before going in the pool. Infants and toddlers with soiled diapers are another common problem. Coming into contact with, or swallowing contaminated water can lead to recreational water illnesses. These include gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. The most common among these is diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which shares these healthy swimming tips:

  • Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

If you have young children:

  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
  • Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Invisible amounts of fecal matter can end up in the pool.

More information about pool health and safety can be found at and

Related Reading
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Photo copyright: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Ana Passos
Ana Passos2 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago


Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Oh my!

Sue L.
Sue L.3 years ago

Ok, most of us have peed in the pool as a kid...but why do elite competitive swimmers do it as adults? That seems a bit odd to me-not to mention unhygenic.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley3 years ago

um sorry, but this is a rather dumb topic to be blogging about.

Susan A.
Susan A.3 years ago

Good health info, thanks..

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

don't tell

Angie B.
Angela B.3 years ago

When I was young, I remember it being the biggest joke if you got caught peeing in the pool. I haven't swam in a pool in many decades now; now I swim in the lakes and rivers around our house and I often think about the fish peeing in the

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan3 years ago


John Z.
John Z.3 years ago

Good work. As a pool designer and builder, enjoyed the effort.