Hume council is spending close to $500 a week on aqua nappies in a bid to prevent ‘code brown’ incidents at Craigieburn’s Splash Aqua Park and Leisure Centre.
The $35.5 million centre has been closed six times as a result of faecal incidents in its toddler and leisure pools since it was opened on October 2.
The most recent closure was on January 19 as families flocked to the pool to escape the heat.
In a bid to combat the problem, the council began offering free aqua nappies to patrons just before Christmas.
Centre staff also installed additional signs and began providing multilingual brochures advising of the importance of swimming nappies.
The council said these incidents were not typically experienced at the municipality’s other aqua centres in Broadmeadows and Sunbury.
It said the cost of cleaning the pools after an incident could be anywhere between $500 to $2000.
Pools need to be closed to ensure proper disinfection and chemical treatment, with the cleaning time ranging from 30 minutes to 12 hours.
Council’s corporate services director Daryl Whitfort said all patrons needed to “do the right thing”.
“We are calling on Splash patrons, especially those with young children … to take appropriate measures to ensure their children have appropriate pool attire, including aqua nappies for younger children or not attend the centre if they are unwell,” he said.
“The Splash Aqua Park and Leisure Centre is a fantastic facility for the whole of our community to enjoy, so if you visit the centre, please follow the pool etiquette and water safety rules so that everyone can go home happy and safely.”
The closures have frustrated swimmers, with many taking to Facebook following the most recent closure.
Some described the incident as “vile” and “disgusting”, while others called for the council to implement a no nappy, no swim policy at the centre.