Poo in pool ‘no laugh­ing mat­ter’ - staff


A pub­lic pool in Tawa has is­sued what it calls a ‘‘poo-nami warn­ing’’ to par­ents.

Tawa Pool shared a warn­ing on so­cial me­dia ear­lier this month, re­mind­ing peo­ple that a sin­gle in­ci­dent of fae­cal con­tam­i­na­tion could close the pool for up to 24 hours.

‘‘Poo-nami warn­ing, code brown, floater alert ... what­ever you call it, it’s no laugh­ing mat­ter,’’ the warn­ing read.

Pool staff wanted par­ents to en­sure chil­dren un­der 3 wore wa­ter­proof nap­pies, and that kids also needed to keep out of the wa­ter if they had been sick over the past two weeks.

Cryp­tosporid­ium and gi­a­r­dia germs can spread through pools from fae­ces, caus­ing di­ar­rhoea, fever and other ill­nesses if in­gested.

Welling­ton City Coun­cil spokesman Richard Ma­cLean said the is­sue had been of par­tic­u­lar con­cern at the Welling­ton Re­gional Aquatic Cen­tre in Kil­birnie.

‘‘We of­ten have to close the tod­dlers’ pool due to fae­cal in­ci­dents – some­times up to once a week.

‘‘To en­sure the health of our cus­tomers, we do have a pol­icy of tem­po­rar­ily clos­ing pools any time fae­cal mat­ter is found.

‘‘Usu­ally the tod­dlers pool is closed tem­po­rar­ily while the wa­ter is fil­tered. If nec­es­sary, the pool is some­times emp­tied, cleaned, then re­filled and re­heated.

‘‘The big­ger pools can be closed for sev­eral hours if the in­ci­dent is par­tic­u­larly un­pleas­ant.’’

Ma­cLean said that, in terms of preven­tion, chil­dren un­der 3 were re­quired to wear ‘‘lit­tle swim­mers’’. In gen­eral, par­ents were good at sort­ing these.

‘‘How­ever, leak­age can still oc­cur, es­pe­cially if a child is wear­ing swim­mers that are too big.

‘‘Kids’ poo is a nui­sance in all pub­lic swim­ming pools around the world. It’s a has­sle and it an­noys pool users a heck of a lot when we have to have clo­sures, hence our Poon­ado ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign of a few months back.’’

A Re­gional Pub­lic Health spokes­woman said it had not been no­ti­fied of any is­sue re­cently.

‘‘If a per­son is con­cerned about the man­age­ment of the swim­ming pool when a sit­u­a­tion arises, [such as] fae­ces in a pool, then this should be brought to the at­ten­tion of Welling­ton City Coun­cil.’’

Tawa Pool staff are ask­ing par­ents to help pre­vent chil­dren go­ing to the toi­let in the pool.

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