Half of Americans use pools as bathtub, survey finds


The weather is heating up and many of us will be jumping into a pool to cool off, but that's not the only reason many people are taking a dip.

According to a new survey, 51% of Americans are using a swimming pool as a communal bathtub.

Many people reported using a pool as a substitute for showering to rinse off after exercise or yardwork.

However, 64% of Americans report they know pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming.

Experts from the Water Quality & Health Council, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance conducting this survey to educate people about healthy and safe swimming.

"When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs," said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. "Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body."

Another gross finding -- 40% of Americans admit they've peed in the pool as an adult. Pee also reacts with chlorine, reducing the amount of chlorine available to kill germs, according to experts.

"The bottom line is: Don't pee in the pool," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming program. "Swimming is a great way to be physically active and not peeing in the pool is a key healthy swimming step."

Get ready for the really gross facts. The survey found 24% of Americans would go in a swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea, and 48% report they never shower before swimming.

The 2019 Healthy Pools survey, conducted online by Sachs Media Group, measured perceptions and behaviors related to swimming pools and public health. Sachs Media Group interviewed 3,100 American adults on April 12-13, 2019.