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Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by Latchmere LC » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:10 pm

Further to the most recent post from my colleague, Dave Jolliffe, I would like to re-iterate the standards adhered to at Latchmere Leisure Centre; We run our pool in conjunction with strict PWTAG guidelines and the staff are trained on the normal operating procedures for the swimming pool, including the event of faeces contaminating the pool. We have a trained pool plant operator on every shift and they manage the pool water quality and testing.

Our lifeguards should try and encourage all participants to shower before entering the pool however their main and most important duty is ensure the pool is safe. We encourage them not to talk when on poolside as this could distract them from the pool focus. We do have various posters and leaflets explaining best practice for users including showering before use however we cannot simply police every customer.

We have a full time Technical Manager who carries out essential maintenance of the pool plant and ensures the water is of the highest quality. We have regular daily, weekly and quarterly cleaning schedules in place.

Furthermore we also have an external company that takes water samples and performs a monthly bacteriological test, all of which are within the recommended guidelines.

The information provided previously is the guidelines for a healthy 'germ free' pool as recommended by the health protection agency and relate to all pools not just Latchmere Leisure Centre.

There has been a lot of recent press regarding the recent noro virus epidemic. To avoid the virus spreading we urge all swimmers to avoid swimming for at least two weeks after being given the all clear.

We are currently looking to create a buggy park in the centre to avoid buggies being brought near to the poolside and will soon be implementing an overshoes policy where you will not be able to enter the changing areas without these. Overshoes will be readily available and given out when purchasing a ticket from reception. The reception team will remind customers of our aqua nappy policy however if customers do forget one they are available to purchase at reception. If your child still wears a nappy them we must request they wear aqua nappies in our pool.

All of these measures are to keep our pool at the highest possible standards for all the public to enjoy.

Once again I would welcome any specific issues to come directly to the centre, please call on 0207 207 8004 or email

Kind Regards

Ed Lane
General Manager, Latchmere LC

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by zaza107 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:01 pm

I ditto the questions of nwt and Balhamworkingmum, above. I used to be a lifeguard and know it's not easy to approach the parents/carers/etc. about this kind of thing but the lifeguards need to be told that this is something they MUST do. Then, the manager on duty needs to be available to support the guards if need be. More importantly, parents/carers/etc. please please please follow the rules that Dave has posted above. Thanks!

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by nwt » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:26 pm

Just to add to my previous post... Went along to DS class this evening and upon asking for some overshoes to go into the changing area I was told that the entire centre had run out.

How on earth can this happen? Answers please Latchmere.

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by nwt » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:26 pm

Despite asking for a reply from the Latchmere to my "feedback form letter" that I handed in then I suppose it's good that someone from the centre is posting on here so thank you Dave for a response.

I'd like to add to Balhamworkingmum's comments and ask Dave if Lifeguards are going to do more to make sure parents/carers/children all wear overshoes in the changing and shower area? Or can I expect the weekly shrug of the shoulders from them and the reception staff?

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by BalhamMumWorkingFT » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:51 am


Thanks for your post. My only question is regarding the guidelines I re-posted below.

How are you enforcing this?
Are lifeguards ensuring people shower before swimming?
Are swimming nappies, with tight bands required to enter the pool with a young child? Are you refusing pool entry without these being done?

Shower before swimming. Make sure you (and your child) wash thoroughly with soap and hot water. Don’t just ‘get wet’.

Babies should wear secure water-proof nappies when in the pool. Babies wearing standards nappies should not use the pool.

Costume and nappy changing should be done in the designated changing area only.
It would be good to know what to expect as I doubt any Mum's will call another Mum out on these. And I feel these three (and not taking a sick kid to a pool) would really clean the place up!

Thanks in advance.

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by ellesmum » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:14 pm

Littlelambeth, I have just read your blog post. Did the pool seriously only close for 30 minutes on the day when there was a "soggy" poo in there?! :shock: Surely that can't be standard practice, to just remove the physical evidence and reopen again without testing the water?! We used to go to Little Dippers when my little one was a baby, and if one of the children had an accident in the pool, even with a disposable AND reusable nappy on, they would close the pool, drain it and clean it. That might not be feasible in a public pool, but I'm concerned at the claim that the pool was open again within 30 minutes, because that doesn't seem like ample time to ensure that it is "safe" again?
Latchmere is (or could be) a really lovely facility, but unfortunately some of the clientele do not appear to treat it with respect, and that is where a lot of the problems stem from. Like others, we have found all sorts of waste left in the changing rooms, which just shows a total disregard for other users from some of the people who go there. It is this handful of rude, ignorant patrons that have put us off. However, I'm now also concerned about the procedures in place to deal with, "floater", situations, because a lifeguard swimming up and down with a net trying to catch it doesn't appear to be an adequate response!

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by Latchmere LC » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:56 pm

Dear Nappy Valley Forum,

My Name is Dave Jolliffe and I am the Area Manager responsible for Latchmere Leisure Centre. On behalf of the team at Latchmere I would like to reassure all users that we operate all our pools to the highest industry standards. Due to the recent negative publicity concerning the quality of the pool water at Latchmere, I thought it would be appropriate to re-post the information from Ed Lane which details the comprehensive water treatment programme we have in place at all of our swimming pools. (see bottom of the post)

In the last 12 months there have been a number of suspected cases of Cryptosporidum reported to us by the Environmental Health Department. One of the many potential links highlighted that a number of the people that contracted the bug had swam at Latchmere Leisure Centre. On both occassions we worked closely with the Environmental Health to ensure our faciliy was clean and safe to use. The environmental Health department were extremely impressed with our water treatment, control measures and baterialogical testing programme we have in place at Latchmere.

Further to additional indepth water treatment testing (over and above what is required by the industry governing body), the water testing confirmed that Latchmere was clean to swim in and free from any parasites. We were not the source of the outbreak.

Due to the nature of the negative publicity, we will continue to periodically test for this bug, even though on both previous occassions it was not present within our pool.

We have again recently re-issued to all schools, swimming lesson programme children and to the general public clear guidance on "how to keep our pool clean".

With reference to the changing facilities, may I assure you we will continue work hard to ensure we achieve a good standard of cleanliness throughout our hours of operation.Please do not hesitate to contact us via email should you require any further information.

Yours Sincerely,

Dave Jolliffe
Area Manager
DC Leisure Management Ltd

On behalf of the team at Latchmere Leisure Centre I would like to apologise to anyone who feels they have had a less than satisfactory experience when visiting Latchmere Leisure Centre recently, particularly relating to our changing village area. I would like to reassure all customers that we value all your feedback and I am personally disappointed that on occasions our standards have been inconsistent. As a result we will continue strive for improvement with the aim of delivering the highest possible standards of presentation and cleaning at all times.

As well as monitoring our service delivery internally the site is regularly inspected by the council’s leisure & environmental health departments. In addition we continually receive feedback from our internal customer feedback system and customer surveys completed by an independent external service provider. In response to this feedback we have recently: -

Replaced all village toilet and shower cubicles – January 2012
Changed sanitary supplier and increased collections – May 2012
Employed a new Contract Cleaning company that has significantly improved deep cleaning standards – May 2012
Reviewed internal staff cleaning rotas and increased cover based on the feedback we have received from our customers – August 2012
Upgraded shower facilities within the changing village – October 2012

With reference to the unpleasant drainage smells that on occasions affect this area. Further investigation it taking place this Thursday 25th October 2012 to try and locate the problem and find a solution.
Swimming Pool Water Quality

With particular reference to the hygiene of our swimming pools, may I reassure every customer that we fully adhere to all industry standards as outlined in HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and PWTAG (Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group) guidelines. These control measures include monthly bacteriological sample testing by an independent company which confirms we are within acceptable and safe parameters.

The guidelines to keep the swimming pool healthy for customers is as follows:

Everyone using the swimming pool can help to keep it healthy and hygienic for all. Please follow these simple steps:-

Do not use the pool if you, or your child, have diarrhoea or have had it in the past 2 weeks.

Shower before swimming. Make sure you (and your child) wash thoroughly with soap and hot water. Don’t just ‘get wet’.

Go to the toilet before using the pool. If your child needs the toilet later, get out of the pool to avoid accidents. Please tell a member of staff if your child has had an accident in the pool.

Do not swallow the pool water.

Babies should wear secure water-proof nappies when in the pool. Babies wearing standards nappies should not use the pool.

Costume and nappy changing should be done in the designated changing area only.

We would welcome any additional feedback relating to Latchmere Leisure Centre, which you can do so either directly by email to or by telephone on 020 7207 8004. As well as being keen to take your comments and views on board we will respond personally to each individual.


Ed Lane

General Manager

Latchmere Leisure Centre

DC Leisure Management LTD

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by Dessertmonkey » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:21 am

5 days after going to the Latchmere pool at the end of November, my 20 month year old came home from nursery and vomited a few times. Following that his stools became very loose and remained so for a few weeks so I took him to the GP who took a stool sample. This showed him to have Cryptosporidium which is a parasite often found in 1 to 5 year olds, caught via food, animals, lakes, ponds or pools.

My son had not been near any animals, is a poor eater so food could not have caused it so the only possibility is the pool ie he had ingested water which contains human faeces of a carrier of the parasite. Nice!

Anyway it is now a month and a half since the pool visit and he is still having the old loose stool but he is better in himself again. Wandsworth Council has been informed about my son via my GP and I have had to submit a questionnaire providing information as to how he may have got it.

I agree the Latchmere is not the cleanest of places but the cause of this is a parent taking their child swimming whilst they carry this parasite, their stools are loose and thus they leak from the nappy/swimming trunks. Surely the best way to deal with this and other bugs is for the pool to have a large notice at the entrance to the pool asking parents to not bring their child swimming if they are ill and to ensure proper nappies and trunks are used to prevent leakages into the pool. Perhaps also insist the lifeguards check each child before they enter the pool to ensure these guidelines are being adhered to.

Just an idea?

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by Wandsworth_Hack » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:39 am

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences and stomach bugs at Latchmere Leisure Centre.
Would anybody be interested in getting in contact for a story in the Wandsworth Guardian?
My phone number is 020 8722 6344 and my email address is

All the best,

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by TFP » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:34 pm

Sorry to bump an old thread but I have a stomach bug today and [without any real evidence at all] am choosing to blame a visit to Latchmere pool that I made yesterday.

I did see a couple of less than perfect signs: a 'floater' that closed the pool prematurely at the end of the day; dozens of fully clothed [and shoed] kids & parents striding round the changing & shower areas; a nappy bin that didn't smell so great. But overall it seemed like a decent facility in decent order, given the size of it and the reasonable pricing.

But having thought about it for a while, I'm not at all sure that it's possible to avoid occasional problems at pools that attract a lot of very young children, as Latchmere always will, with its slide, wave machine, & higher pool temperaturee. By way of an example, the small, private, Trinity Hydro Pool was held up by a poster earlier on this thread as a paragon of hygiene & cleanliness but I know that there were a number of bug problems there when I was a regular visitor in mid to late 2011.

I suppose I'm wondering whether the odd bug might just be par for the course when you're dealing with large numbers of small children splashing round in warmish water.

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by nwt » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:58 am

Just to add to this thread, can I urge all mums, dad, childminders, or indeed anyone who goes into the swimming pool changing rooms and the swimming area to PLEASE put on a pair of the shoe covers.

I took my son to his lesson last night and was shocked at the number of adults wandering around in their shoes (and allowing children to do the same) - even in the shower area and around the pool. One of the lifeguards asked someone politely to put on the shoe covers but by this point she was already stood next to the little pool.

Another mum was in the shower area.

Come on guys! Hygiene rules are there to keep the pool clean and germ free. After all the complaints on this thread you’d think people would start to take notice by now?

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by littlelambeth » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:27 pm

Someone told me to pop over and take a look at this thread.

I've just written a blog post about Latchmere pool and some of the themes seem to be similar.... :lol: ... hmere.html

It's a shame it's failing on it's cleanliness because waves, slide and beach style entrance is great for kids. Hope they can work a way to get this right!

For alternative pools, I would recommend Camberwell Swimming baths - can get there from Clapham/Battersea on the 35/345 bus. ... rwell.html

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by busybee5 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:43 pm

No the only place he went was swimming saturday morning then home and that evening is when the rash occured

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by LauraBrown » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:29 pm

Not exactly any proven link between the Latchmere and your son's problem then - not many animals about, have you been to a park at all recently?

Re: Battersea Latchmere Leisure Centre Swimming Pool BUG

by MGMidget » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:21 pm

It makes me mad when I hear about how often poo gets into the water at the Latchmere. This is the responsibility of the parents - shame on them for not using appropriate swim nappies on toddlers or older children if they still need them. Perhaps the leisure centre needs to put up some clear notices on what is acceptable swimwear for babies and toddlers of a certain age in the pool and ask any parents and children to leave the pool if they don't follow this. It strikes me that the centre needs to step up both its hygiene and the setting and policing of rules!