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Over Five Months
A public pool that has been open for only two years is the dirtiest in Auckland, with dozens of “code browns” recorded in the last five months.
Figures released under the Local Government Official Information Act (LGOIMA) revealed that Albany Stadium Pool has had 42 code brown incidents since September.
A code brown is a council term for solid poo, diarrhoea or vomit in pools.
There were 262 code browns recorded at 23 Auckland pools from September to January.
Most of the incidents were in toddler, splash and learners’ pools, and family spas.
Auckland Council’s head of active recreation Rob McGee said it was never an ideal situation when code browns occurred at council facilities.
“We take reports of faecal matter in pools very seriously,” he said.
“Code browns always cause a disruption at our leisure centres.”
The North Shore pool’s worst incidents were in November, during two consecutive days when it recorded six code browns. Five of those were diarrhoea cases in its leisure, splash and toddler pools.
A code brown could force the closure of a pool from at least an hour to more than six hours, depending on the extent of the incident and treatment required.
The five pools with the highest number of code brown incidents from September to January were Albany Stadium Pool, Henderson’s West Wave Pool, Otahuhu Pool, Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa pool in Mangere and Otara Pool.
West Wave recorded 15 code browns in spring and 12 over summer.
McGee said council pools gave out 300 free swim nappies to families last summer, and issued stern warnings to parents and lifeguards to help bring down code brown numbers.
Children under the age of 3 were required to wear swim nappies in the pool, whether or not they were toilet-trained.
“We continue to encourage the public to go to the bathroom before they use the pool and not swim if they are feeling unwell, or have recently eaten.”
Grey Lynn Paddling Pool was the cleanest pool in Auckland, with no record of code browns in the last five months.
Glen Innes Pool had only two incidents.
McGee said there was no way of stopping code browns in pools but co-operation from the public could go a long way.
“We understand that accidents do happen and our goal is to help prevent as many of these as possible through education and measures such as the use of swim nappies.
“Any reduction in the number of incidents will ensure everyone has a better experience.”