Report recommends pool closures

PIERS FULLER
Last updated 12:48 31/10/2012
31poolL
CAROLYN FRANCIS
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Greytown and Martinborough's public swimming pools could be closed if council follows the recommendations of a new report.

South Wairarapa District Council commissioned Opus International Consultants to review their public swimming pools after it was revealed that the pools required up to $800,000 of maintenance work.

Opus outlined several ways the council can deal with its pools which include: do nothing except fix immediate health and safety issues; continue a minimal maintenance programme to keep the pools running; close all three pools; or close two pools and upgrade one. The report concludes that the first three options have "fatal flaws" and the last option is "a possible acceptable outcome".

The consultants received feedback from several South Wairarapa organisations that have an interest in the pools, including Featherston Amateur Swimming Club, St Teresa's Primary School, Featherston School, Kuranui College, Greytown Swimming and the Martinborough Community Board.

"The overall demand for the pools is mixed.

"Featherston has a very strong base of users from the swimming club and local schools, as does Greytown but to a lesser extent than Featherston.

"The information we have gathered indicates that Martinborough has lower demand as there is no swimming club operating and no feedback from schools in the area was provided."

The report homed in on several "very high risk issues" that need to be addressed immediately.

These include the lack of a pool water sampling plan that meets New Zealand standards; lack of staff training in pool management and correct testing practices; lack of an audit process by SWDC staff on the testing; and no external lab sampling including microbiological analysis.

The estimated cost to keep all three pools operational over 10 years is over $730,000.

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