Beijing’s Public Pools Contain Dangerous Amounts of Pee, Tests Reveal

While China’s unbearable summer heat may have driven some air conditioned places like IKEA, many are also trying to beat the heat at one of Beijing’s numerous public pools. Unsurprisingly, the extreme amounts of pee in Beijing’s pools may pose some serious health risks, recent tests have revealed.  

According to Sina (via Shanghaiist), 50% of Beijing’s public pools were found to contain excessive levels of urine based on tests conducted last year. Reports now reveal that not much has changed this year.

Beijing health officials found that the city’s swimming pools contain high levels of urea, a waste product found in urine. The pools were also found to have low levels of chlorine.

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While the ideal chlorine levels in pools should be around 0.3-0.5 mg/liter, some pools tested to have only 0.1-0.2 mg/liter. What’s worse is that the resort employees later admitted that they even added chlorine disinfectants into the pool an hour before inspectors took samples.

Health officials warned that the incorrect doses of chlorine could lead to increased levels of pathogenic microorganisms in the water.

The report also revealed that the samples exhibited a higher amount of urine than the “acceptable” amount, which is 3.5 mg/liter of water.

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The current abysmal conditions are highly attributed to pool owners’ stingy approach in pool maintenance, showing a complete disregard to the water’s sanitary conditions. The report also blamed defective pool designs of some establishments as part of the problem.

Water in some of these pools is rarely changed and unscrupulous owners barely used their own water filtration systems to save money. Some choose to use cheaper cleaning products as the price of high quality disinfectants are around 10,000 yuan, or $1,500, per month.

Chinese health officials advised the public to always check the pools sanitary conditions to avoid jumping in and swimming through a pool of pee.   

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