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Waitakere: West Wave Re-opens

West Wave Re-opens

The national swimming championships will be held at Waitakere’s West Wave Olympic pool from tomorrow.

Waitakere City Council was this evening given the green light to re-open the pool, by the Medical Officer of Health, after she had reviewed air quality samples taken at the pool today.

The pool has been closed since yesterday when a number of water polo players were taken ill and 10 hospitalised, after matches in the Olympic pool.

“Waitakere City Council believes that a freak combination of circumstances caused the illness affecting water polo players,” says Dai Bindoff, Public Affairs Manager for Waitakere City Council.

“The main pool was being run at slightly higher chlorine levels than usual – but still well within New Zealand pool guidelines.”

“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.

The council ordered air quality tests today and these have come back within the acceptable range.

“This suggests that if there were high levels of chlorine – which is the likely explanation – they have now reduced to about one quarter the acceptable level. Those test results were sent to the Medical Officer of Health,” Bindoff says.

He says that the pool has not encountered a similar problem in the 17 years since it opened for the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1990.

“It seems it may have been a freak occurrence but during the day we have heard of one or two similar instances, over the years, at other pools. We will continue to investigate and if necessary, institute additional protocols to guard against a recurrence,” Bindoff says.

Mr Bindoff says the council was deeply concerned about the water polo players that had been affected and had been in contact with them during the day, offering its apologies and offering any help they might need.

***Ends***

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