Swimming pools at Northfield Leisure Centre are to remain closed for the foreseeable future after a chlorine resistant parasite was found in the small pool.
The pool was closed for cleaning on 14th June after a child defecated in the training pool and microbiology tests on the water and filtering systems were carried out.
Chlorine resistant parasite
Tests on samples from the small teaching pool have now returned positive for cryptosporidium, a parasite which is resistant to chlorine and can cause severe diarrhoea alongside other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, dehydration and fever. Most people recover from symptoms well by drinking plenty of fluids, but those with weakened immune systems may suffer complications.
The tests were carried out as a precaution after cryptosporidium was found at Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre in Kings Heath in May, closing their pool, which is set to reopen tomorrow (Saturday 25th June) after being closed for over a month.
A spokesperson for Northfield Leisure Centre said: “The swimming pools at Northfield Leisure Centre will remain closed until further notice after independent tests unfortunately detected the presence of Cryptosporidium in the teaching pool water. We are still awaiting the test results for the larger pool.
“We take the health of our customers extremely seriously and are currently discussing next steps with the Council, including the length of time it will take to carry out the necessary measures to eradicate this chlorine resistant bug from the water.
“We apologise to all those inconvenienced by the closure; customers should check our website or social media for further updates.”
‘Reassured & extremely satisfied’
Serco run Birmingham Community Leisure Trust, who run the Leisure Centres, have taken the cryptosporidium find at Cocks Moors Woods very seriously, working closely Public Health England (PHE) and Birmingham City Council’s Environmental Health team to ensure it has been dealt with safely and efficiently.
Dr Huda Mohamed, consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, praised BCLT’s handling of the issue at Cocks Moors Woods, saying: “The Trust has taken the matter very seriously and we are both reassured and extremely satisfied with the extensive action undertaken.”
Following the closure of Northfield’s pools, the Trust issued advice to minimise the spread of cryptosporidium in swimming pools, reminding customers that babies and toddlers must wear a swim nappy in the pool and asking individuals who have had diarrhoea to refrain from swimming in any public pool for at least 14 days after the symptoms have cleared up.
Northfield Leisure Centre is set to close fully in September to be demolished to make way for a new facility on the site. A planning application has been presented to Birmingham City Council for the rebuild, which it is hoped will be completed by April 2018. Plans can be viewed and commented on until 14th July 2016.