To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Why you should get out of a pool if you smell strong ‘chlorine’

Why you should get out of a pool if you smell strong ‘chlorine’

There's a very good reason behind why you should get out of a pool if you smell strong 'chlorine'

The reason why you should get out of a pool if you smell strong 'chlorine' has been revealed, and you might want to hear this one out.

I know what you're thinking, 'but don't all swimming pools smell like chlorine?'

Well, your world is about to be turned upside down.

All those times you were splashing around in a pool on holiday, or doing laps for fitness purposes, the smell of chlorine might have stood out.

It is a very distinct smell, and it is usually very easy to tell if someone has just gone for a swim just from the scent alone.

Chlorine is usually added to swimming pools to help eliminate bacteria by forming a weak acid called hypochlorous acid.

It targets harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella and others that can cause viruses like swimmer's ear and even diarrhoea.

But here's the revelation: Chlorine in pools actually results in no odour, which is the ideal, healthy swimming condition.

So then, that begs the question, what is that smell that always takes your nose over at swimming pools?

A lot of pools may smell, but this means something quite gross.
Getty Stock Photo

It turns out that this is not chlorine, but instead it is something called 'chloramines'.

Chlorinated water can have a slight odour if it is an indoor pool with poor ventilation, but chloramine will always have a scent regardless.

They are produced when chlorine reacts with ammonia from sweat, body oils and, wait for it, the urine of pool users.


The more a pool smells, the less chlorine there is, acting as a tell-tale sign to add more chlorine to disinfect the now pee-infected pool.

According to the Water Quality & Health Council explains: "It is good advice, to stay out of the water when a strong chemical smell pervades the air around any type of pool, indoor or outdoor.

"It is true that the more urine there is to combine with chlorine, the higher the level of unwanted, smelly chloramines in the pool."

The Council have also revealed that if chlorine is combined with contaminants like urine, then it loses its ability to destroy bacteria in the pool.

So not only will you be swimming around in urine, you may go home with diarrhoea or an ear infection. Lovely.

The smell of chlorine actually doesn't indicate the presence of it.
Getty Stock Photo

Now I know what you may be curious about: How much sweat, pee and oil makes its way into swimming pools?

Oil and sweat is harder to measure, so a team of chemists from the University of Alberta tackled the big one: Urine.

Through measuring artificial sweeteners that are in your pee, the team estimate that in a standard 832,700 litre pool, about 75.7 litres of it is pee.

So that's why your local pool might reek of 'chlorine'.

I guess the lesson here is maybe don't pee in the pool, get out and use the toilet like a normal, functioning member of society.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Health, Science, Weird