Thinking about taking a refreshing dip in a public pool to combat all this sweltering weather. You might want to think again. Libraries or stadiums might be a cleaner choice.
Last year, tests revealed that half of Beijing’s public pools contained excessive urine levels, and it looks like the situation hasn’t been improved. Sina reports that Beijing health officials recently tested the water in several of the city’s swimming pools and discovered that they had low levels of chlorine and high levels of urea, a chemical compound found in urine.
The national standard for chlorine levels is 0.3 milligrams/liter to 0.5 milligrams/liter. Two of the pools that were tested showed chlorine levels of 0.1 mg/L and 0.2 mg/L. These numbers didn’t seem that bad, until employees at the swimming pool admitted that they added chlorine disinfectants into the pool an hour before inspectors showed up.
Yikes. Incorrect doses of chlorine could increase the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms in water, health officials say.
Furthermore, the “acceptable” amount of urea in water is 3.5 mg/L, but most pools showed figures way above that.
Unsurprisingly, one of the main reasons for the unsanitary conditions in these pools is due to stingy pool owners as well as defective pool designs. In order to save money, the water filtration system is not switched on the majority of the time and the water is rarely changed. Disinfectants can cost up to 10,000 RMB each month, so several pools opted for cheaper and less effective cleansing agents.
However, fear not, Beijing authorities said that more than 100 swimming pools allow you to scan a QR code in order to find out the water quality. Yay! Instead of jumping into a possibly urine-infested pool, you’ll now know for sure if you’re jumping into a pool with excessive pee. If that isn’t good enough, always feel free to call the Public Health Service Hotline, 12320, to complain.
By Sarah Lin
[Images via Sina]