Elite athletes should know better than to urinate in the swimming pool, but not apparently gold medallists Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Both those champions admitted at the London Games that they do it; and according to them, so do many others.
Lochte went as far as saying on radio to Ryan Seacrest that going is “automatic” when he enters the water.
Meanwhile Phelps said that it was a normal thing to do and, displaying a poor understanding of pool water chemistry, said that the “chlorine kills it so it’s not bad”.
“Peeing in the pool creates chloramines,” says Tom Lachocki, CEO of the US National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).
“Chloramines increase respiratory issues like asthma. Lots of swimmers suffer from asthma. When competitive athletes pee in the pool, we’re grossing and they’re wheezing. Sounds like a lose/lose no matter what kind of pool you’re in.
“Bottom line – toilets are the better way ‘to go’.”
As well as the negative health affects, Lachocki says that urinating in a pool is just plain bad manners.
“It brings new meaning to watching our Ps and Qs.”
Results of a recent survey from the Water Quality and Health Council found one in five Americans admit to peeing in the public pools. Even worse, a survey run by the Swimming Teachers Association in the UK found one in four Brits urinate in the pool.
SPLASH! would like to believe Australians and New Zealanders behave better – but that may just be wishful thinking.