By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Last week, as the weather was sweltering and people were flocking to the pool for comfort, the Bowling Green city pool had to shut its doors.
This was not the first time for the unexpected closure, according to Kristin Otley, director of the city parks and recreation department.
“No, that was number two,” she said. “No pun intended.”
The latest fecal incident occurred Wednesday, when a teenager with special needs had an accident. The consistency required that the pool be closed into Thursday, Otley said.
In the summer of 2013, the city pool experienced several fecal accidents which required the aquatic facility to close. It was then that the term “poopetrators” was coined to label those responsible. The closures created frustration for pool patrons and staff, plus cost the city an estimated $5,000 in revenue.
Otley said the incidents so far this year appear to be purely accidental. The first involved an infant wearing a swim diaper, which leaked.
Last week’s also appears to be accidental, she said. “Obviously, we never want that to happen,” but occasionally it appears unavoidable. Wednesday’s incident happened to affect a lot of people since it was such a hot day, she added.
How the pool staff handles the incidents depends on the consistency of the fecal matter. If solid, the area can be “shocked” with chemicals, Otley said. If not, it can take up to 24 hours to clean the water.
“We follow the letter of the health district guidelines,” she said. “We want to keep people safe.”
Otley also mentioned that announcements are made during breaks at the pool, to remind parents to take their children to the restrooms.
“It really does have ramifications for people at the facility,” she said.