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Ask the expert: Kids peeing in the pool

Q: Every day of the holidays, there are twenty kids in our pool for hours, with no bathroom breaks. We all know what’s happening in that water. How do I address this?

A: Unfortunately, this is a common problem. There’s also a misconception that it’s not a big deal because chlorine will kill the germs, when the opposite is true. Sanitisers need a specific pH level to be effective and peeing in the pool alters that level. When urine and chlorine combine, they create a by-product called chloramine. Where you think you smell chlorine (you aren’t, cause it’s largely odourless), you are actually smelling the by-product of people peeing in the pool.

The best option is to attack this problem at the source. Talk to the kids and explain the issues. Establish some pool rules including ‘everyone pees before they swim’ and ‘regular bathroom breaks are non-negotiable’. Left to their own devices, they’d stay in the water all day, so a forced break is a good idea. You can use the time to make sure they are hydrated and to hand out some snacks and reapply sunscreen if needed.

As far as the water goes, check that filtration, circulation and water balance are all in order – a good practice during any busy swimming time – and make any adjustments as necessary. Good luck!

For more expert advice, email your pool and outdoor living questions to hello@poolspalife.com.au.

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