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Freak combination of events caused pool illness

Media Update

11 December, 2006

Waitakere believes freak combination of events caused pool illness

Waitakere City Council believes that a freak combination of circumstances caused the illness affecting water polo players using the West Wave Aquatic Centre, over the weekend.

“The main pool was being run at slightly higher chlorine levels than usual – but still well within New Zealand pool guidelines,” says Dai Bindoff, Public Affairs Manager for Waitakere City Council.

“Nevertheless, there may have been elevated levels of chlorine in the air immediately above the water, where the players were taking their breaths, “ he says.

“Because they were playing hard, they may have been breathing enough of this extra chlorine to make them sick.

Bindoff says that no other explanation seems to address the variables.

"For example, all the water tests have been well within the acceptable levels, the players themselves say they felt the problem came when they breathed – and yet casual users were largely unaffected,” he says.

The council had air samples taken this morning and the initial results show that the air immediately over the pool is at normal levels.

“We have sent the tests to the Medical Officer of Health and are hopeful that they will agree to the pool re-opening again."

Bindoff says the Mayor and council representatives have visited some of the sick children today.

“This may be a freak event but we are extremely sorry that these youngsters were made sick. And the really important thing is that they get well,” he says.

ENDS

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