REPORTS have today revealed the full extent of hygiene and cleanliness problems at the paddling pool in Hull’s East Park which led to 70 people suffering from an outbreak of Cryptosporidium last summer.
Today’s Hull Daily Mail has detailed the findings of a Public Health England investigation, which has concluded that ‘substantial and extensive” improvements need to be carried out if the pool is ever to reopen to the public.
Investigations revealed that contaminated water from nearby public toilets could enter the underground holding tank for the paddling pool at times of heavy rainfall, with not all water from the tank then passing through the cleaning filtration system.
The report also said water samples taken from basket filters showed ‘unsatisfactory levels of Coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli, indicating that faecal contamination had occurred’ in the paddling pool.
In summary, Public Health England has now suggested the facility is not reopened unless extensive improvements are made.
These include raising the holding tank above ground level and properly sealing it, adding overhead netting to prevent droppings entering the water, modifying the filtration system so all water passes through it, and ensuring the number of bathers at any one time is restricted to a safe limit and strictly adhered to.
Legal assistant Claire Fletcher, who is acting on behalf of Neil Hudgell Solicitors for those taken ill, said: “The public health report has made it clear that there were insufficient precautionary measures taken, and a lack of quality control of the water, to ensure people could use this facility safely.
“Particularly concerning were the insufficient levels of chemical treatment and clear evidence of faecal contamination when the water was tested.
“It is also particularly worrying that there was a danger of contamination from the public toilets situated nearby. This was clearly not acceptable.
“We welcome the recommendations of Public Health England that this pool is not re-opened for public use without major improvements to the design and filtration system to ensure the highest quality of bathing water for those using it.
“It should not be forgotten that more than 70 per cent of these cases involved children under nine, with the bug having particularly nasty symptoms of diarrhoea and tummy, cramps, sickness and high temperature, which usually lasts for around two weeks, but can be as long as a month.”