Reopening Roadmap

PUBLIC UPDATE – 25 August 2020

HEALTHY SWIMMING

WynActive aims to keep its swimming pools safe and clean, but there are simple things we can all do to help.

Pathogens are microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) that cause illness. They can be introduced to the water by contaminants people carry on their bodies. Practising good hygiene before swimming helps to prevent contamination.

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Please join us in helping to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Virus

  • Wear a mask when attending WynActive sites
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 1.5m
  • Use hand sanitisers every time
  • Wipe down equipment with every use.
  • You must stay at home if you are unwell or have a high temperature 
  • Shower and wash with soap before swimming

STEPS TO HEALTHY SWIMMING

Follow these simple steps can help keep the pool safe and clean:

  • Don’t attend the centre if you have symptoms of COVID-19, diarrhoea or are sick
  • Shower and wash with soap before swimming (you can do this at home!) 
  • Make sure your bottom is clean
  • Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet or changing a nappy
  • Only change nappies in nappy change areas
  • Avoid swallowing pool water
  • Do not wash dirty feet or shoes in pool water

Keeping pathogens out of pool water

We can all carry pathogens on our bodies, which can wash off and contaminate pool water. Chlorine can kill most pathogens, but it doesn’t kill them straight away. Some parasites, like Cryptosporidium, a single-celled parasite that causes diarrhoea, can survive in pools for days.

We are more likely to be infectious when we are not feeling well. For example, when you have an upset stomach or diarrhoea, there are thousands of pathogens in your faeces and traces on your bottom. These pathogens can wash off and contaminate the pool whenever you swim.

To keep pathogens out of the pool, it is important not to swim with diarrhoea, and for 14 days after your symptoms have passed.

When you have an infection, you should not swim while infectious. For example:

  • COVID-19 – stay home and self-isolate, do not attend the pool until you receive a negative test and are free from symptoms
  • chickenpox – do not swim for a week after the rash appears
  • cryptosporidiosis (crypto) – do not swim for two weeks after diarrhoea stops
  • athlete’s foot (tinea) – do not swim until a day after treatment is started
  • diarrhoea (unknown cause) – do not swim for two weeks after diarrhoea stops.

You can ask your general practitioner (doctor) for advice about swimming if you or your children are diagnosed with any infection.

If you or your family develop a gastrointestinal illness after swimming at a public pool, contact the pool manager so any potential gastro outbreak can be monitored.

Pool water is not known to transmit COVID-19. The World Health Organisation states that “for a conventional public or semi-public swimming pool with good hydraulics and filtration, operating within its engineered bathing load, adequate routine disinfection … should be sufficient to eliminate enteric pathogens and enveloped viruses, like coronaviruses, which are sensitive to chlorine disinfection.” [1]

WynActive maintains its pool water in accordance with the Victorian Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008.

Preventing faecal accidents

Young children may still be learning to control their bowel movements, so parents and supervisors should be extra careful to prevent faecal accidents.

To prevent faecal contamination:

  • keep an eye on your children at all times
  • take children on toilet breaks every hour and check nappies every 30–60 minutes
  • only change nappies in nappy change areas – do not change nappies by the poolside
  • non-toilet trained children and incontinent people must wear tight-fitting waterproof nappies
  • report any faecal accidents to swimming pool staff

SWIMMING POOL Cleaning and disinfection

Public aquatic facilities must maintain suitable water quality to prevent the spread of illness as governed by the Victorian Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008. Facilities are expected to have effective treatment barriers in place to reduce harmful microorganisms including viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites.

WynActive adopts a multi-barrier approach which involves two or more types of treatment processes to address pathogen risk. Each treatment process on its own may not be able to completely remove or prevent contamination, but together, the treatments work to provide greater assurance that the water will be safe for use.

  • Treatment processes at AquaPulse and Werribee Outdoor Pool include state-of-the-art filtration systems combined with primary, chlorine-based disinfection.
  • WynActive uses liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) and sometimes, granular chlorine (calcium hypochlorite)
  • Recommended disinfectant residuals (concentrations) are maintained at all times.
  • When chlorine is added to water it forms a mixture of hypochlorous acid (a strong disinfectant) and hypochlorite ions (a weaker disinfectant). Together, hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion make up what is known as ‘free chlorine’.
  • The pH of the water will affect how much of the stronger disinfectant (hypochlorous acid) is formed. To ensure ‘free chlorine’ remains effective, pH is maintained within the recommended range of 7.2 – 7.8 at all times.
  • Secondary disinfection is recommended for all public aquatic facilities, particularly for high-risk facilities where there is a need for extra protection against Cryptosporidium.
  • WynActive utilises full-flow, Ultra Violet (UV) secondary disinfection systems able to achieve a 99.9 per cent inactivation of Cryptosporidium.
  • WynActive strikes a realistic balance between the number of bathers it allows and the capacity of the facility and treatment plant.
  • Effective water circulation ensures treated water reaches all areas of the facility and that polluted water is removed efficiently.
  • Short turnover times, in combination with filters that can remove Cryptosporidium and secondary disinfection systems that can inactivate Cryptosporidium, provide the highest level of protection.
  • Pool water quality and disinfectant residuals are monitored constantly, where we are ever in doubt we will not hesitate to close the pool. 
  • Incidents that adversely affect water quality can occur at any public aquatic facility. Sometimes incidents, such as pool contamination with diarrhoea, necessitate an extended closure and treatment of pool water with high concentrations of disinfectant chlorine. In such circumstances, the disinfection process can take a number of days before it is safe to swim again.
  • WynActive has documented procedures for responding to incidents.
  • Staff are trained to respond to incidents appropriately and quickly, we ask that you follow their directions at all times.

All of this is done to make sure the pool water is as safe as possible for swimming.

[1] World Health Organisation, (2020). ‘Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Interim guidance, 29 July 2020.’

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