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Pool Problems Resolved; But Work Goes On
July 16, 2008 - Nearly three weeks after the county health department briefly closed the swimming pool at Knightstown's Sunset Park, most of the violations that led to the closure have been remedied.
Paul Gona, the Henry County Health Department 's director of environmental health, told The Banner on Monday that the bacteria levels in the pool water are now back within acceptable limits. He said that since the pool's closure on June 26, and it's reopening late the following afternoon, there have been two successive satisfactory water samples.
"That confirms to me my judgment in reopening the pool even with the borderline satisfactory report that they had," Gona said. When the pool was reopened on June 27, the bacteria level was still one percent over the level set by the state.
A detailed inspection report Gona completed on June 27 noted nine violations in addition to the high bacteria count and daily inspection records that weren't being properly kept. Pool personnel were directed to (1) update signs at pool to comply with state law; (2) provide easy access to shallow pool for lifeguards; (3) repair and resurface walls and floors in shower rooms; (4) provide hot water for shower rooms; (5) fill pool to gutter levels; (6) add another lifeguard chair; (7) provide free drinking water; (8) install depth markings on pool walls; and (9) keep spectators out of pool perimeter.
Bruce Brown, pool manager at Sunset Park and vice president of the Knightstown Dept. of Parks and Recreation, told The Banner Monday that just about every item noted in Gona's inspection report has been addressed. He said a second lifeguard chair has been ordered and that he expects the plumbing work to bring hot water to the shower rooms to be completed later this week. Brown also said he's checking in to getting a public water fountain at the pool repaired.
According to Brown, one of the biggest obstacles the pool has faced the past few weeks has been lower than normal attendance. He said he attributed this to people simply reading the headline of an article that appeared in The Banner two weeks ago without reading the accompanying news story.
"They read the headline that said the health department closed the pool and that's as far as they went," Brown said. "I told them if they'd read on in that article, it talked about what was done and what needed to be done, and it said we were opened back up."
Brown also told The Banner that he has now applied for the annual $25 permit the county requires for operation of public pools. The pool operated without a permit last year, the first year the permits were required, and did not have one when Gona inspected the pool in late June.
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