Legionnaires found at Onehunga public pool

Legionnaires found at Onehunga public pool

nzherald.co.nz – 11th July, 2017

A spa pool at the Auckland Council-owned Onehunga War Memorial Pool and Leisure Centre has been closed after legionella bacteria was discovered.

YMCA Auckland, which manages the centre on behalf of the council, shut the spa pool immediately on Wednesday after the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) said the bacteria had been detected in one of two water samples.

YMCA Auckland said the pools are operated in line with rigorous procedures set out in the New Zealand water treatment standards.

The health service tested the water to identify possible sources of a case of legionellosis.

Although there is no confirmed link, YMCA Auckland and the council have treated the pool according to procedures recommended by ARPHS, including a thorough deep clean and additional chlorination.

It will, however, remain closed until the water tests negative for the bacteria, which is likely to take two to three weeks. The rest of the pools are still open.

Council head of active recreation Rob McGee said that after a similar outbreak last year, the council worked closely with ARPHS and the council’s environmental health team to improve processes and the YMCA is now working with ARPHS to find out what caused the latest bacterial contamination.

“Auckland Council and YMCA Auckland are now working together to fully investigate this case and understand if further improvements can be made,” says McGee.

YMCA Auckland chief operating officer Arvid Ditchburn says the organisation is now testing the other pools in manages.

“Our current operating procedures meet all New Zealand water treatment standards, but we will be undertaking a review to see if any further improvements can be implemented.”

McGee says the council believes the risk the public is “very low”.

Auckland Council tests its pools daily to ensure water quality remains within New Zealand standards, and also does monthly microbiological testing.

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