Study finds more than half of Americans don't shower before swimming

Published: May. 15, 2019 at 7:34 AM MDT
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As families prepare to flock to local pools for the summer, a new survey indicates more than half of Americans use swimming pools as communal bathtubs.

Fifty-one percent of people questioned by the Water Quality and Health Council say they use the pool to rinse off after a workout or yard work. The survey also found 40 percent of American adults admitted to going to the bathroom in the pool.

Experts from the Water Quality and Health Council say peeing in the pool can greatly reduce the effectiveness of chlorine. Experts from the CDC told the council it reduces the amount of chlorine available to kill germs.

"The bottom line is: Don't pee in the pool," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming program, which contributed to the survey's findings. "Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step."

These findings might gross you out, but experts say they're a wakeup call about the need for showering before getting in the water. According to the Council, a one-minute shower before getting in the water can rinse off most of the dirt and germs on your body.

The Water Quality and Health Council is offering free pool test kits that indicate whether the water is healthy and safe.