Hundreds of schools across the UK are allowing pupils to swim in sub-standard swimming pools unaware of the risks including the dangers of entrapment.
Applauding Pool & Spa Scene for raising awareness of the risk of single main drain pools and other outdated installations, that do not conform to modern standards, John Cheek of Hydrospec, Essex, said he fears it is only a question of time before tragedy strikes.
“This debate on school pools is long overdue,” says John, a member of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers’ council. “There were several incidents of disembowelment and entrapment in the Seventies,” recalls John who was an ‘expert witness’ in one high profile case.
“I fear it is only a question of time before an aged school stock claims another victim,” he warned. John says schools have scant information on the requirements to operate a pool that is considered a Group 2 category under BS EN 15288-1:2008 plus very little understanding of what is required to meet these standards and guidelines.
“The condition of some school pools is, to say the least, appalling and in many instances not safe to use,” John says. “But these schools do not know this and in some cases, have been given the all clear to use – shockingly by persons in our industry.” A considerable amount of schools had swimming pools installed in the 60s and 70s by the PTA with funds raised by the schools most of which were based on a basic domestic swimming pool specifications, supplied in kit form, invariably installed by the parents. Many of these pools were raised out of the ground with a timber frame and a liner.
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