New York: Those who have a habit of peeing in a swimming pool, beware. Here comes a device glows green the moment it detects traces of human waste in water.

Developed by researchers at Texas A&M University, the container adds zinc ions to water that glow if urine or faeces is present.

When zinc ions come in touch with urobilin molecules - a byproduct released in the urine and faeces of many mammals - it forms a phosphorescent compound which glows green under an ultraviolet light.

Urobilin molecules are small and diffuse quickly. So they easily occupy large volumes such as lakes and reservoirs for example.

“The technology provides actual concentration levels of the contaminant and it does so almost instantly,” its developer Vladislav Yakovlev was quoted as saying in media reports.

Using the technology, Yakovlev and his team have detected the presence of urobilin down to a nanomole per litre.