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'Freezing' pool leads to apology to parents from Tides Leisure Centre in Deal as children get coughs and colds

By Eleanor Perkins

Parents who have complained about the “freezing” temperature of the water at a leisure centre have received an apology from swimming pool bosses.

Mums and dads took to social media to protest against the facilities after they claim their children have developed coughs and colds following their swimming lessons.

While managers maintain the pool has not opened when the water has dropped below the minimum recommend operating level, they admit there have been problems due to its “inefficient ageing equipment”.

Tides Leisure Centre in Deal
Tides Leisure Centre in Deal

They warned it could continue until January.

After a meeting with one parent last Thursday, Your Leisure has asked for understanding while the essential plant is replaced. The firm has promised refunds to customers affected by cancelled classes.

For all other pool based sessions, whereby the temperature was lower than normal but within the recommended range, the company is offering a weekend of free swimming.

One parent - who has asked not to be named - wrote on the pool’s Facebook page: “What, exactly, is the pool temperature today? Is it still freezing as it has been for months?

“The reason I ask, is that I, like many people have a small child who has their lesson in a freezing pool, gets out of the water to sauna like temperatures and then unsurprisingly develops colds and coughs as a result.”

The parent claims she pays £300 a year for her child’s lessons at the leisure centre in Park Avenue, Deal.

Tides Leisure Centre in Deal
Tides Leisure Centre in Deal

She continued: “Tell us if you have a huge problem and shut the place down, fix the issue and you will still have customers, ignore our constant complaints and we will leave.

“We want the pool to be warm, clean and safe for all users!”

Her outburst prompted a meeting with the firm.

In a statement on the issue, Your Leisure said: “We would like to sincerely thank our customers for their patience and understanding while the essential plant equipment is replaced at Tides.

“We would like to apologise for the occasions when it has been necessary to close the swimming pool, mainly due to not being able to maintain the pool temperature at a level within guidelines relevant to the management of swimming pools.

“Where closure has regrettably affected our pool-based programmes, we will be arranging a direct debit adjustment or credit for cancelled sessions.

The new equipment being installed at Tides Leisure Centre in Deal
The new equipment being installed at Tides Leisure Centre in Deal

“The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) recommend operating temperatures for swimming pools should be between 27°-30°c.

“Please be assured the pool has not been opened if the temperature was below the minimum level.

“Unfortunately, over the past few months we have experienced some challenges in maintaining the recommended top end range temperature due to inefficient ageing equipment and the associated fractured pipework, however we can now confirm the pool temperature has reached 29.5°c and we are confident we can maintain a more stable temperature while the works continue and thereafter upon completion.

“We also confirm that as part of the essential investment works being carried out the air handling system is also undergoing a refurbishment.

“We would like to re-assure customers that effective pool water treatment has continued, again in accordance with PWTAG recommendations, and the pool disinfection operating parameters have been properly maintained and validated through regular monitoring and recording."

“The works are scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2019 and it is anticipated there may be a limited number of times when we may need to close the pool(s)again.

“We will of course keep customers updated as the work progresses.

“The plant equipment replacement is both essential and complex work in order to ensure the problems we have experienced are resolved in the longer term.

“Please be assured we have done our very best to keep the centre operational and minimise the inconvenience for customers and will continue to do so.

“To celebrate the completion of this major investment programme, Your Leisure will be providing a free-swimming weekend (dates and details to follow) for those customers and their families inconvenienced by this essential work.”

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