Are There REALLY Chemicals That can Detect the Presence of Urine in Pools?
Let’s find out once and for all!
We’ve all heard the warnings as kids, and we still tell it to our kids today: don’t pee in the pool or it will turn blue (or red or purple…you pick the color) and rat you out. But is this true or just an old wives’ tale we tell little ones (and adults!) so they’ll make the effort to get out of the pool and go to the bathroom in the proper place when faced with that shame?
Snopes has debunked this one, folks. There is no magical chemical that will reveal the presence of urine in the water by producing a brightly-colored cloud. Basically, you can’t buy a chemical to add to your pool that acts as an indicator for urine. That’s all well and good but that doesn’t stop pool supply businesses from being bombarded al season long with requests of urine-indicator dye. This isn’t to say the idea from chemical manufacturers hasn’t been thought of and looked at. Although it wouldn’t be too hard to make a chemical that reacted with urine; the hard part would be making it react ONLY to urine and not a variety of similar organic compounds that can be found in swimming pools.
Besides, one wonders if such a chemical really were to exist on the market for pool owners, who says kids these days wouldn’t readily challenge the theory? What 9 year-old boy wouldn’t want to jump right in and test it out to be considered “cool” amongst his guy friends (girls are another story)? And what about xocmmunity pools? They would be coverd in clouds of bright blue just about all day long.
Look, the reality is that people pee in pools. Is it gross? Yes. Is it avoidable? Sure (although a case can be made for toddlers).