These Embarrassing Stories Will Ruin Public Pools For You Forever

Summer is on its way, which means many of us will attempt to beat the heat via some sort of water activity. For some, this means hitting the beach or lake, but for many, the closest body of inviting water is going to be the pool. And not to spoil your summer fun, but pools are kinda gross — especially public pools.

Don’t get me wrong, I love taking a dip in the pool as much as anybody. I just try not to think too much about what’s in that pool. Whether it’s a city pool, apartment complex pool, or the wave pool at your local water park, any pool that’s shared among the public is going to have copious amounts of eye-burning chemicals to combat the stew that comes from human occupants soaking in its waters.

While it’s probably best to not think about all the gross things that transpire in public pools, sometimes you have to expose the truth. Maybe this list of public-pool mishaps from Reddit will keep you on dry land for life — if that’s the case, I’m sorry.

The pool is not a substitute for toilet paper.

There’s a reason that you rarely see a kid get out of the pool and walk to the restroom — spoiler alert: people are gross. Even when a kid does get out of the pool, though, there’s no guarantee that they’re, shall we say, “clean” to come back in the pool. Redditor TorpedoSnatch shared what is surely one of his less than proud public pool moments.

When I was in sixth grade, I was on vacation with some family friends at the beach. The hotel we were staying in had the swimming pool and the parking garage on the same level. One of the days as we were swimming, I guess the force of the water wasn’t too kind to my stomach or bowels. Quickly getting out of the pool without trying to alert everyone as to what was happening, I headed off towards the parking garage looking for a restroom. None to be found. I sprinted on towards the elevators to hopefully make it back up to the room in time. Elevator never came. As nonchalantly as one can do, I ran around the side of the elevator bay to what happened to be a handicap parking spot. Then, I just let loose and it was awesome. All done, I figured the pool would have to do instead of a toilet paper. And it did. No one knew they were swimming in feces.

Not cool, dude. Not cool at all.

No escape.

Wave pools are essentially a swirling pot of people and various bodily fluids. Hey, the truth hurts. As this Redditor found out, sometimes there’s just no escaping the wave, no matter how hard you try.

I was in one of those amusement park wave pools. I dived underwater and came up for air. As my head surfaced out of the water, I saw it. Right in front of my face was a huge surface of vomit. I could see the next huge artificial wave incoming not too far behind the vomit. I turned around and tried to escape, but I think you know what happened.

Your eyes are going to burn.


Open your eyes underwater in a public pool for any amount of time and you’ll be met with the burning cornea cleanser that all public pools have — massive amounts of chlorine. While working as a city lifeguard, Pickleer discovered why trusting a computer system with mixing pool chemicals isn’t always the best idea.

The city bought a computerized control system for the chemicals. Think digital thermostat, retrofitted to many, MANY different pools and plumbing systems. I was attending to the chemicals one day and somehow, thank you nice crappy new system, I set up a closed loop where the water receiving the acid additive couldn’t cycle back into the pool. And the computer reading the pool water didn’t detect any acid, so it just kept adding more. I eventually figured out the problem and opened the loop. And came outside to find all the kids gagging and crying and the water all green, after all the built-up acid got dumped into the pool! The city got their money back eventually and that system got un-installed.

Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet.

Maybe it’s just better if you don’t know what sort of stomach-churning things have transpired in the pool you’re swimming in. Ignorance is bliss, right? That’s the approach Sascottie11’s brother took, at least when it came to breaking some nasty news to a few soaking hot tub couples.

My brother used to work at a local gym that had a pool and hot tub. One time we were out for lunch and we stopped by so he could talk to some people. After a few minutes this guy comes walking up to the front desk and said “my son just hit his head on the hot tub and threw up in it.” The guy just got his kids out and they went into the pool instead. My brother and his friend kept talking; about 20 min later my brother reminded the other guy that he needed to clean the hot tub out or whatever. He walked into the pool area and immediately walked back to the front desk. He said that there were 3 couples sitting in the hot tub talking and he couldn’t decide whether or not to tell them.

What lurks below the surface.

Other than finding the occasional piece of loose change, you’re never going to see anything good below the water’s surface in a public pool. As Redditor TheStormers discovered, you might just end up being traumatized from some random water dong.

I was about 9 years old swimming at my local wave pool. Me being the cool kid I was had these awesome goggles which allowed me to see underwater. So I was swimming around and I see this girl giving her boyfriend a handy underwater, with his dick out and everything.

Seriously, do your eyes a favor and never look below the water’s surface.

I was swimming underwater with really awesome/clear goggles. As I’m sitting on the bottom I see a scab the size of a quarter go past me. It was absolutely horrifying!!! Via Oliveocko

The perks of public-pool health hazards.

As gross as public pools can be, all those nasty accidents are actually a blessing in disguise for lifeguards. Vbelch spilled the beans on how every time some kid makes a mess in the pool, it essentially equals a paid break for the lifeguards on duty.

As a lifeguard for 6 years, someone throwing up or sh*tting in the pool is actually great. Especially on hot days when the pool is packed. Everyone has to get out of the pool and the pool has to be shocked (we just throw a sh*t ton of chlorine in to make sure it kills the sh*t). Then the pool has to cycle the chlorine out back to normal levels which can take up to 10 hours. Everyone goes home and we get paid for the next few hours just waiting for people to leave.

Surprise Nakedness

You know what you’re going to get at Swift Stay Suites on The Detour, that’s what Nate Parker Jar.. er, jer tells his wife, but a romantic moment in the hot tub is ruined when weed gummies give her super stoner strength and she rips his shorts off in the least sexy way possible, leaving him in a very vulnerable spot. Luckily, no kid with goggles swims by, but still…

The Detour airs on TBS, Mondays at 9/8 c.