Gran’s health and safety fears at Sheffield leisure centre

Grandmother Julie Southwell outside Hillsborough Leisure Centre.
Grandmother Julie Southwell outside Hillsborough Leisure Centre.
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A GRANDMOTHER has voiced health fears after human waste was found in a Sheffield swimming pool.

Julie Southwell believes the public were put at risk, claiming Hillsborough Leisure Centre did not immediately inform swimmers and then allowed them back in the water.

Mrs Southwell was swimming with her three-year-old granddaughter when she noticed lifeguards using paper cups to scour the water.

They then used nets to search for about 10 minutes before everyone was asked to leave the pool.

When Mrs Southwell came out of the changing rooms, she saw people had been allowed back in and was told excrement had been found in the water.

Mrs Southwell, of Hillsborough, said: “I asked them why they didn’t get people out straight away.

“I spoke to the duty manager and asked to see the procedure. They said I would have to write to them.

“I know this sort of thing can happen, but I’ve been in pools in Spain when it has and people haven’t been allowed back in for 24 hours while it is cleaned.

“Someone could have swallowed the water – it was absolutely packed.

“They should have informed everyone what happened in case someone got ill.”

Tim Hicks, general manager at the centre, said: “We can confirm that there was an incident where faecal matter was found in the pool.

“Once it was discovered and retrieved, lifeguards asked customers to leave the pool immediately.

“Our procedure states that if the faecal matter found is solid, customers can return to the water once it is cleared and when further checks have been made.

“The customer in question requested a copy of our procedure and, following our usual protocol, the duty manager asked her to write to the venue in order for us to be able to deal with the situation formally and appropriately.

“We will be more than happy to provide the lady with a copy of the procedure upon receiving the letter from her.”