Pool re­opens with clean bill of health

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Bran­wen Smith

■ Ex­mouth Swim­ming Pool was closed twice in one week af­ter mi­cro-or­gan­isms were dis­cov­ered in wa­ter sam­ples.

The pool re­opened on Mon­day af­ter lab­o­ra­tory anal­y­sis came back to con­firm no harm­ful or­gan­isms were found in the wa­ter.

Shire of Ex­mouth ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Rob Man­ning said they su­per-chlo­ri­nated the pool as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure to en­sure it would be open to host 130 swim­mers at the Gas­coyne Open Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships this com­ing week­end.

The pool ini­tially closed on Oc­to­ber 23 when rou­tine sam­pling de­tected the pres­ence of ther­mophilic Naeglaria in the toddler’s pool.

Mr Man­ning said there were many dif­fer­ent species of Naeglaria but only one, Naeglaria fow­le­ria, was known to be harm­ful to hu­mans, caus­ing amoe­bic menin­gi­tis.

As soon as Naeglaria is found in a pool sam­ple, pro­ce­dures re­quire the pool to im­me­di­ately close while species iden­ti­fi­ca­tion takes place.

“In this case the lab­o­ra­tory anal­y­sis has con­firmed that the species of Naeglaria de­tected in the sam­ple was not Naeglaria fow­le­ria and was of no risk to hu­man health,” Mr Man­ning said.

He said sam­ples from the other two pools in the com­plex were com­pletely free of any or­gan­isms, but all three pools form one wa­ter body.

Fol­low­ing th­ese re­sults the pool re­opened on Oc­to­ber 29, but had to close again the fol­low­ing morn­ing when a sec­ond sus­pect or­gan­ism was de­tected in the pool wa­ter.

Mr Man­ning said the worst case sce­nario would have been the or­gan­ism was iden­ti­fied as one that re­quired the pool to be su­per-chlo­ri­nated, so the Shire de­cided to go ahead with the pro­ce­dure any­way.

Ther­mophilic Naeglaria can en­ter into a pool through wind-blown soil and dirt, and ap­pears when wa­ter tem­per­a­tures range be­tween 28C and 40C.

“At this time of year, when the wind starts to blow, it’s not un­com­mon for at least one of the pub­lic pools in town to re­turn a pos­i­tive re­sult to a ther­mophilic Naeglaria, but very un­com­mon for the town pool to do so,” Mr Man­ning said.

Pic­ture: Bran­wen Smith

Aus­tralian swim­mer Lisa Curry at Ex­mouth Swim­ming Pool.

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