We’ve all been there. Just after the ceremonial un-robing that occurs prior to hopping in the shower and closely following the forthcoming cascade of water from the shower head — your bladder beckons. But it seems like a lot of work to get out of the shower, grab a towel, dry off, and make your way back to the commode. So you ask yourself the age-old question, “To pee or not to pee?”
Yep, we’re going there. Don’t worry; we’re all friends here. If your motto is to *ahem* go with the flow, you don’t have to be ashamed. In fact, you’re by no means alone. In a poll conducted by the Today show, nearly 80 percent of people confessed they had peed in the shower.
Still, it’s hard not to feel like you’re breaking some unspoken rule when you let your urine stream anywhere other than the toilet bowl. Is it really a big deal, though? Is it even sanitary? Are the domestic gods going to smite thee for desecrating your shower drains?
In 2014, two students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich argued that not only is peeing in the shower totally normal, it is also eco-friendly. As part of their campaign, Debs Torr and Chris Dobson encouraged everyone to “let it flow,” arguing that if all of the university’s 15,000 students did so, it would “save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times.” Given that toilet flushing eats up over a quarter of indoor water use in the home, there’s certainly an argument to be made about the sustainable aspects of shower-peeing.
It isn’t the only argument to be made in favor of this extra-urine-cular activity, either (do you see what I did there?). According to Billy Goldberg, MD — co-author of Let’s Play Doctor and a self-professed shower pee-er — urine is sterile, non-toxic, and can even help clear up a case of athlete’s foot.
As for whether or not urine will damage the pipes below your shower drain, well, you have nothing to worry about. “The drain pipe(s) for the shower and toilet are ultimately tied together before they even leave your house (and likely even your bathroom) and, if you are on public sewer, leave your residence by way of a sanitary sewer lateral which then ties into a sanitary sewer main. From there, it’s on to the wastewater treatment plant. The water will have to be on, of course, but it’s as ‘safe’ to pee in the shower as it is to go in the toilet,” reassures licensed professional engineer Eddie Giese, P.E.
The Verdict: Yes
So what are you waiting for? The next time you’re in the shower and feel the urge to pee, don’t hold back. Or, in the immortal words of one Elsa of Arrendale, “Let it go!”