A Wollongong public pool has closed hours early in sweltering mid-summer heat, after a confirmed “code brown”, Tuesday afternoon.
Lifeguards at Western Suburbs Pool at Unanderra raised the alarm about 1.30pm, after suspect brown matter was spotted floating in one of the site’s three water bodies.
One pool-goer, John from Figtree, who was visiting with three children in tow, described a mixture of Caddyshack-style hysteria and fascination from a crowd of about 200 people who were then made to leave the water.
“There was a little bit of fleeing and screaming and a lot of kids laughing,” he said.
“There was a guy scooping whatever it was out of the pool and a lot of the kids were gathered around watching – they were quite interested.
“You know what it’s like when there’s poo involved – kids think it’s the funniest thing in the world, until they realise they can’t go back in the water.”
John’s two children and nephew had been swimming in the venue’s Olympic-sized pool for about 15 minutes before the closure.
The contamination occurred in a separate body of water – bigger than the toddler pool but not as deep as the Olympic – but resulted in the closure of all three pools.
“The filtration system runs through all three – that’s what I was told,” John said.
He took his family to the clean waters of North Wollongong Beach for the rest of the afternoon.
Meantime, Wollongong City Council has advised the Unanderra pools will likely re-open Wednesday morning.
Swimmers were told the pools would be drained and hit with a “super” dose of chlorine before re-opening.
The closure came in the midst of the school holidays, as the mercury hit about 28 degrees.
The pool had been scheduled to close at 6.45pm.
Instead, numerous carloads of people were met by a sign proclaiming its closure for the rest of the afternoon.
The Mercury understands the culprit was never found.