Survey: 51 percent of Americans use swimming pools as communal bathtubs

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

With summer just around the corner, a new survey revealed that just over half of Americans knowingly contribute to swimming pools becoming dirtier. 

The survey, conducted by Sachs Media Group, found that specifically 51 percent of people reported using public swimming pools as communal bathtubs. The people who participated in the survey reported they used the pools as a substitute for showering, as well as cleaning off after working out. 

“When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, in a press release. “Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body.”

To make matters worse, the survey also found that 40 percent of Americans have urinated in the pool as an adult. 

“The bottom line is: Don’t pee in the pool,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming program, in a press release. “Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step.”

The 2019 Healthy Pools survey measured perceptions and behaviors related to swimming pools and public health. Sachs Media Group interviewed 3,100 American adults on April 12–13, 2019. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.7% at the 95% confidence level and was nationally representative of American adults in terms of age, race, gender, income, and region.