If the cringeworthy facts reported below were more widely known, demand would greatly increase for the high-tech toilets common in Japan, that shoot water sprays at human rear ends, to quickly, comfortably, and completely remove fecal residue. Why has no one grasped this entrepreneurial opportunity?
(p. A2) Mrs. [Lindsey] Blackstock and several colleagues tested 31 swimming pools and hot tubs in hotels and recreational facilities in Canada for the presence of acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener that is largely undigested and almost entirely excreted in urine.
. . .
Using that information, they deduced that a 110,000-gallon pool they studied contained an estimated eight gallons of urine, while a 220,000-gallon pool contained an estimated 20 gallons. The concentrations represented about 0.01% of the total water volume.
“If your eyes are turning red when you’re swimming, or if you’re coughing or have a runny nose, it’s likely there is at least some urine in the pool,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the Healthy Swimming Program for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Urine isn’t a primary source of germs in pools or hot tubs, but feces that clings to the body is. At any time, Dr. Hlavsa said, adults have about 0.14 grams of poop on their bottoms and children have as much as 10 grams.
“When you’re talking about bigger water parks with 1,000 children in a given day, you’re now talking about 10 kilograms or 22 pounds of poop,” she said.
Feces can contain bacteria, viruses and parasites such as E. coli, norovirus and giardia that can lead to outbreaks of diarrhea, vomiting and other illnesses.
For the full commentary, see:
Jo Craven McGinty. “THE NUMBERS; A Sanitary Pool Requires Proper Behavior.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, July 21, 2017): A2.
(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed name, added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date July 21, 2017, and has the title “THE NUMBERS; Is That Pool Really Sanitary? New Chemical Approach Has Answers.”)
Blackstock’s research, described above, was published in:
Jmaiff Blackstock, Lindsay K., Wei Wang, Sai Vemula, Benjamin T. Jaeger, and Xing-Fang Li. “Sweetened Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs.” Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4, no. 4 (April 2017): 149-53.