Will Urine In Pool Change the Color of the Water?
Can urine in pool water change color? How many of us have been told that if we pee in a swimming pool, it will activate a chemical that will turn the pool water a different color and show people that you’ve peed? Parents have been scaring their kids using this tale for ages. We even see it portrayed in movies like “Grown Ups,” when Kevin James and the other stars pee in the water park pool. The water surrounding them turns a dark blue. Once others notice, they start screaming and running from the pool to escape from the dark blue liquid.
And as it turns out, people actually do pee in pools. According to Poolonomics, one in five people have admitted to peeing in a pool at one point in their life! It makes you think, how many people didn’t admit it?
So, would you believe me if I told you there was no such thing as a urine in pool indicator dye in pools? Well, it’s true. Currently, no such chemical exists to activate and change color when urine is present in pools. Although there are chemicals that can change colors in response to urine, there are a few reasons why these aren’t used.
First, the chlorine in pools can impact the chemical reaction, which could either decrease or increase the activation of the compound, making accuracy difficult. Second, the chemicals can be activated by a multitude of other things besides urine, which could mean a lot of really embarrassing situations occurring at pools where no urine exists.
Orson Welles And A Pool Prank
So why do we all believe this myth? Well, many people attributed the widespread belief in this myth to author Barbara Learning. She wrote a biography about Orson Welles in 1985, and she told a story about a friend of Welles that used “a compound” to change the color of the water in a pool when Welles peed in it. The friend was apparently playing a prank on Welles. This may be true, but this myth is so ingrained in our culture that it is hard to believe there was a time in which people didn’t think it was true.
Is there a way to test for urine in pool water?
While this would be helpful, there is no easy way to test for urine in your pool. Researchers have found a few ways to locate the presence of urine in pools, but none are easily done at home. The first is a pH test. Tests can be used to see if the chemical balance of your pool is at a safe level. The second test is a bit more complex.
Researchers at the University of Alberta tracked artificial sweeteners to trace the amount of urine in a pool. Since artificial sweeteners don’t disappear once eaten, they show up in urine. Then the pool water can be tested for the sweetener to see if any is present.
So while a urine in pool indicator dye does not exist, it does not mean that sharing this small lie with guests is not a useful deterrent if you’re worried about them peeing in your pool. Especially since checking for the presence of urine in your own pool can prove to be a difficult task.
While chemicals and regular cleaning of the pool make it safe, you should always look to keep your pool itself safe from accidents. For over 40 years Baby Barrier pool fence company has been helping keep kids and families safer around pools. Check out our pool fence features and why we are the number one trusted pool fence company in the USA.