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Splash Palace’s ‘Pool pooper’ takes business elsewhere
Having had to close pools at the Southland Aquatic Centre/ Splash Palace on six consecutive Fridays as a result of faecal material apparently being deliberately dumped in its pools, the so-called 'Pool Pooper' failed to repeat their actions last Friday (27th March).
Amid widespread national and international media attention, staff at the pools kept a close eye on patrons in the Splash Palace’s pools, determined to thwart a seventh week of disruptions.
With this high level of scrutiny, the so called ‘pool pooper’ (or ‘brown bomber) was deterred.
The Invercargill facility has also begun offered free swimming nappies to toddlers while also contacted schools and clubs which used the pool on Friday nights to remind them of the basic hygiene etiquette.
Invercargill City Council Aquatic Services Manager Pete Thompson told local newspaper The Southland Times “they've all been really supportive, it's been a real team effort.”
Reflceting on three possibilities behind the occurrences, Thompson commented “it's either the same person or people, accidentally; the same person or people, maliciously; or random."
Thompson believes the incidents have probably been caused by the same person or people.
However, the fear of another poo did not deter people from using the pool on Friday nights, with Thompson adding "people are being realistic, and understanding, everyone wants the same thing.
“We are grateful for their patience."
The nuisance of faecal incidents sees a minor incident requiring a 30 minute closure for isolated treatment while a major ‘code brown’ demands that the pool be closed and drained - a process taking about six hours.
The faecal incidents at the Splash Palace appear to not be isolated occurences.
During October last year, South Waikato District Council staff had to deal with eight separate incidences where faeces was found in the main pool at the Tokoroa Indoor Pools.
At the time, South Waikato District Council Leisure Services Manager Heather Gaby told the South Waikato News "from time to time accidents happen however the increased frequency of this problem and the fact that it is occurring in the main pool suggests that it is no longer accidental."
She added "this is a totally unacceptable and selfish behaviour which could cause a serious health risk and is a massive inconvenience to all users."
Discussions with several Australian aquatic managers, who asked not to be named, revealed that removal of faecal matter is an all too regular occurence in Australian swimming pools - and that pools would rather the public were not aware of the frequency of such incidents.
The Australian managers all indicated that such occurences were accidental, although the managers do now fear copycat 'pool poopers' as a result of the media attention given to the Splash Palace incidents.
Splash Palace photograph (top) used for illustrative purposes only.
26th March 2015 - SERIAL DEFECATOR CAUSES WEEKLY CLOSURES OF SOUTHLAND AQUATIC CENTRE
23rd December 2015 - POOL MANAGERS NEED TO BE AWARE OF WATERBORNE BUGS THROUGH SUMMER
20th December 2014 - STUDY FINDS TOXIC BYPRODUCT FROM URINATING IN SWIMMING POOLS
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