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Survey: 1 in 5 pees in the pool

Tuesday - 6/5/2012, 12:39pm  ET

swimming pool (AP)
One in five admits to urinating in the pool. (AP)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- If five people are in a swimming pool, one of them is peeing.

This ick-worthy new survey, conducted by the pool chlorine industry, shows one in five people admits to urinating in pools.

And those are the ones who cop to it.

"No matter how easy it is to pee anonymously in the pool, swimmers should avoid doing so," says Dr. Chris Wiant, the chairman of the Water Quality & Health Council, a scientific research group sponsored by the American Chemistry Council.

The survey of people using swimming pools as toilet bowls appears in Shine on Yahoo!.

In most cases, chlorine in a properly maintained public pool will counteract the accidents, but the study shows 54 percent of public pools fail to provide the proper chlorine levels and 47 percent get low marks for pH balance.

To make matters worse, seven in 10 in the survey say they don't shower before they swim.

Contemplating a wetsuit? The experts offer a few tips to keep yourself safe from bacteria.

If you can see the bottom of the pool, "it's likely very clean and balanced, but if it's cloudy or the sides are slimy, those are signs that bacteria is prevalent," says Wiant.

And, if you need scientific proof, pool test strips are available at most drug stores.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)