‘Code browns’ close popular new pool
Poo and vomit incidents regularly close facilities at a new public pool on Auckland’s North Shore on average more than once a week, despite a targeted hygiene campaign.
Auckland Council said there have been 24 pool closures for biohazards, including, but not limited to poo incidents, at Albany Stadium Pool since October. By comparison, west Auckland’s WestWave pool has had six code browns so far this summer.
The leisure pool and toddlers pool were both closed for periods of time on February 10 and February 11 following vomiting/faecal incidents, and swimmers have expressed frustration at the regularity with which the pools are unusable.
One frustrated mum, who tried to take her daughter to Albany Stadium Pool on both days during the latest incident, is a fan of the facilities but not the way staff are coping with regular code browns.
‘‘They’re losing a lot of money, annoying a lot of families and dealing badly with a simple situation.’’
Albany Stadium Pool, which opened in January 2017, was closed for maintenance for most of October and, when the site reopened, the council launched a hygiene education campaign.
Auckland Council’s head of active recreation Rob McGee said as well as general hygiene, the campaign focuses on reminding parents that, at council-run pools, children 3 years and under must wear swim nappies.
‘‘There is a strong proactive focus on preventing biohazards ’’
‘‘There is a strong proactive focus on preventing biohazards so there is minimal disruption and the pools can be enjoyed by all users,’’ McGee said. ‘‘Awareness posters were put up at the pool reminding parents to take their children to the toilets before swimming; to eat after swimming, not before, and to let lifeguards know when an accident has occurred so staff can deal to it immediately. There are also hourly announcements over the PA system reinforcing these messages, along with the pool’s supervision rules.’’
Swim nappies are for sale at the pool and McGee said the pool’s reception staff ask all parents with children under 3 whether they have a swim nappy and lifeguards also check poolside.
McGee said the length of time a pool needs to be closed following an incident varies, but the council works to be in line with National Water Treatment Standards.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff opened the Albany Stadium Pool, which is now frequently closed to families.