One in four public swimming pools in Beijing has an excessive level of urea, most of it from human urine, the Beijing Morning Post reports.
About 25 per cent of the 600 swimming pools inspected by the health authority this year were found to contain too much urea, and 77 of them have exceeded the limit for two consecutive years, the report said.
Swimming pool water must contain no more than 3.5 milligrams per litre of urea, according to China’s national standards.
Urea can irritate eyes and skin and make swimmers feel sick, Liu Ying, an official at the Beijing Health Inspection Bureau, told the Jinghua Shibao in July.
The substance, which comes from people’s urine and sweat, cannot be easily filtered out, meaning pool operators have to change water frequently to get rid of it, Liu said.
Authorities have pledged to make the capital a better place for swimmers by stepping up their enforcement of pool standards.
“Swimming pool managers should carry out water cleaning measures strictly, and meantime, citizens should pay attention to personal hygiene and social morality,” the city’s public health authority said in a statement in June.