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.