Zaps instead of laps at Kyogle pool


Kyogle closes pools amid safety concerns over electrical shocks

SWIMMERS' lives could be endangered because of an electrical fault at the Kyogle, Bonalbo and Woodenbong public swimming pools, a report has revealed.

A Swimming Club official has claimed children were getting electrical tingles whenever they touched anything metal at one of the pools.

As a result Kyogle Council has closed all the pools until the faults are rectified.

At Monday's council meeting, an independent report concluded that found deaths could occur when swimming in the pools in 'exceptional circumstances'.

Electrocution outside of the water, because of appliance or wiring failure, is an even more likely possibility, the report by Electrical Consulting and Training stated.

Kyogle mayor Ernie Bennett told the Council meeting: "We have not opened the pools for the swimming season because we cannot take the risk to public safety."

Council is retro-fitting Kyogle Pool with devices to ensure it meets safety standards. The work will take about four weeks.

Repairs on the Bonalbo pool will follow while repairs on Woodenbong pool are almost complete.

Kyogle Amateur Swimming Club spokeswoman Elva Jones said the council's response was inadequate.

"This is just not good enough. The council should have acted far more quickly once they found out in February there were problems at Woodenbong pool and closed it," she said.

"Kids were getting electrical tingles when they touched anything metal.

"They should have checked back then to see if Kyogle and Bonalbo had similar design problems ? not waited until just before the swimming season.

"Our swimmers now need to go to the extra expense and inconvenience of travelling to Casino or Lismore to swim.

"And we are losing the value of our annual swimming pool season tickets."

Many older public pools across the State, like those in Kyogle shire, would have complied with safety standards at the time of construction, the report to Council stated.

However, natural deterioration has taken its toll, leading to possible poor connections, bearing failure, motor burn out, lighting failure and corrosion.

This, coupled with the fact that the pools have inadequate safety switches, that the tagging and testing of electrical appliances is out of date and there is inadequate earthing, are all areas for serious concern.

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