Concerns Relating to Usage of Raoul Illidge Sports Complex's pool
Philipsburg - The Ministry of Education Culture Youth & Sport would like to inform the public that we are taking all necessary precautionary measures where the safe usage of the pool at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex (RISC) is concerned. Recent reports have suggested that dozens of persons reported challenges with “burning of the eyes and lung irritation”. These reports are incorrect as further consultation with the regular users of the pool did not yield any complaints.
On Monday, March 6th one student complained to their teacher about the challenges they were experiencing, relating to their attendance at the swim program on Thursday, March 2nd. This was not brought to the attention of the facility Manager until Wednesday, March 8th when a family member of the student was seen at the facility trying to get a sample of the water without permission. Once the situation became clear, all users were contacted and informed of the situation and the programs were postponed as a precautionary measure pending the results of an official lab test.
We received the lab results on Monday, March 13th and we can mention that the results showed no bacteria and good ph levels, but high levels of chlorination, the levels of chlorination shown are however lower than what was mentioned in the reports.
We have taken note of the recommendations made and are currently implementing them. Important to also mention is that the current pool maintenance practices are in line with recommendations, and we will include them in the maintenance plan moving forward, the draining of the pool will take place more often and there will be an increase in lab testing as well. We have also learned during this process that the test kits that were available on the island and previously utilized did not allow for the full testing of the chlorination levels. As this is the case, we are currently looking into purchasing kits overseas which will give us a better reading.
Moving forward, the pool will remain closed until Monday, March 20th as we anticipate the completion of the implemented measures by then. We thank our many users for their patience while we go through these processes and implement these measures to ensure the safe usage of our facilities for our users.