GSAC has reopened after yesterday's
GSAC has reopened after yesterday's "oopsy moment". Cathy Adams

How pool was decontaminated after 'oopsy moment'

UPDATE 1.30pm: WHILE it's totally unpleasant to talk about, it's important to know that when you jump back into a public pool after a "faecal incident" it will be totally safe to swim in.

A Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre spokesperson has confirmed a number of strict measures were put in place to avoid possible disease transmission after the "oopsy moment" that closed the pool for an afternoon.

The particular disease of concern is called cryptosporidium, which is a diarrhoeal disease infecting the intestine.

It's present in the faeces matter of already infected humans. It is spread when the parasite is ingested.

The measures, as enforced by a NSW Government health standard, were:
1. Evacuate and close pool (10 minutes)
2. Remove contaminant and clean pool with manual vacuum (30 minutes)
3. 'Super' chlorination of the water to treat it (13 hours)
4. Water retested (10 minutes)

More detailed instructions are available as a PDF from NSW Health

GSAC assistant manager, Yonika Mantel, acknowledged the incident was a disappointment and inconvenient for families.

"These closures inconvenience our patrons and cost the community," she said.

"Particularly on hot afternoons or when we have swim lessons organised, it's a real disappointment and hassle for local families."

She reminded that all children who weren't fully toilet trained "must wear a swim nappy at the facility".

"We provide them for $2 on the pool deck for the convenience of families," Ms Yonika explained.

We really need our patrons to respect this rule in the interests of the whole community." 


UPDATE Wednesday 8.50am: THE Goonellabah pool has reopened today after an "oopsy moment" that closed it down for water treatment yesterday.

Followers of The Northern Star and Lismore City Council Facebook pages showed mixed reactions, from plain disgust to gratefulness at the centre's decision to close down for the day, to some disagreement about how the situation was handled.

Craig Potter wrote on The Northern Star page: "Congratulations to staff and management who make these tough decisions to close a public pool".

Several complained about how regularly this happened at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre.

"Nothing new! Happens regularly up there," Rachael Essery said.

"Poonellabah strikes again," Jacinta Clift said.

On Lismore council's Facebook page two believed the actions of pool staff could have been "more prompt".

"Would have been more prompt for the staff to remove everyone from the pool as soon as they noticed the issue," Jessica Donovan said.

"Not just close off the section and say 'don't swim here'."

Merrilyn Bullock replied in agreement: "It should have been removed asap, not tell people not to swim here … that's disgusting behaviour on the staff's side."

Others reacted light-heartedly: "Shouldn't it be a 'poopsy' moment", one person said. Another commented, "such a shitty thing to happen".


TUESDAY, 4pm: IT MIGHT be 32 degrees outside, but forget about an afternoon swim at the Goonellabah pool.

Lismore City Council posted this message on its Facebook page this afternoon:

"Due to an 'oopsy moment' the pool at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre will be closed for the rest of the day.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this unforeseen accident has caused.

"Please note that the Lismore Memorial Baths will be open until 7pm this evening."

A spokeswoman from the council confirmed there had been a "faecal incident ... which means they need to eject patrons from the pool and treat the water".

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