Michael Phelps May Know Why The Pools Keep Turning Green: 'Everybody Pees'

by Adam Silvers

At the moment, one of the biggest stories at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio is the green pools.

At first, it was just one pool. Now, a second pool reportedly turned green, and everyone is scrambling to try and figure out why.

Hell, these pools are even responsible for turning US swimmer Ryan Lochte's hair green. We have to get to the bottom of this.

According to a report published by The New York Times, the pools in Rio may have turned green because of a chemical imbalance caused simply by a ton of people being in the water.

That explanation was reportedly given to The Times by Olympic officials, but I don't know if I'm buying it.

Speaking on the green pools, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada reportedly said,

Midafternoon, there was a sudden decrease in the alkalinity in the diving pool, and that's the main reason the color changed. We probably failed to note that with more athletes, the water could be affected.

Slick cover, Mario, but is that really what's happening here?

Andrada reportedly added,

We brought in a team of independent experts to check... The pool should go back to its classic blue colors during the day.

US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps may have a simpler explanation for Rio's green pools: pee.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal in 2012, Michael Phelps reportedly said,

I think everybody pees in the pool. It's kind of a normal thing to do for swimmers. When we're in the pool for two hours, we don't really get out to pee. We just go whenever we are on the wall.

Nate Hernandez, director of aquatic solutions at VivoAquatics, has reportedly refuted the notion pee could turn the Olympic pools green, saying,

To be honest, people pee in the pool all the time — this wouldn't affect it.

That's all well and good, but according to Jamie Novak, a brand manager with a swimming pool chemical manufacturer in Connecticut, Andrada's explanation about too many people using the pools is, quite simply, kind of bullshit.

Novak reportedly said,

If the pool's systems are properly sized with adequate filtration and using appropriate chemical distribution, they should be able to maintain clarity and sanitation even during peak use.

So, whom are you going to believe? An official in Rio or the dude who literally lives in a pool, Michael Phelps?

Citations: Another Pool Turns Green, and a Chemical Imbalance Is Blamed (The New York Times), Michael Phelps says 'everybody pees in the pool' (Business Insider)