Asbestos at pool no threat to public

Richard Saunders.
Richard Saunders.
The Dunedin City Council says there is no immediate threat to the public following the discovery of asbestos at Moana Pool.

During a maintenance check of the building early last week, asbestos was discovered in the pump storage area under the pool level of the building and in restricted storage areas away from the pool.

Dunedin City Council parks and recreation group manager Richard Saunders said the council received verbal results confirming the presence of asbestos last Friday, and written results had been received this week.

It was believed the asbestos had been there since the pool was built in 1964, he said.

‘‘Testing by qualified contractors confirmed asbestos is present in some areas, which is to be expected in a building of this age.

‘‘We then immediately isolated these areas, which are mainly plant and storage areas, as a precaution and restricted access.''

Air testing showed the discovery posed ‘‘zero immediate risk'' to people's health, he said.

No asbestos had been found in public areas of the pool. However, precautionary tests had been carried out and results were due today.

Experts had advised the public areas of the pool were a ‘‘low risk'' area for asbestos, he said.

A final report detailing how the asbestos could be treated was expected by early next week.

Options included removal of the asbestos, continued restricted access to the affected areas and sealing off the affected areas.

Mr Saunders said it was good the asbestos had been discovered now.

‘‘It's good we have been alerted to this now so we can take action before it becomes an issue.''

Two other council buildings were also checked - the Sims building in Port Chalmers and a storage shed next to Tahuna Park - no immediate health and safety concerns had been raised, but access to the buildings would be restricted until further tests were completed.

The asset maintenance checks were part of a new system introduced by the parks and recreation department.

Council property manager Kevin Taylor said the council was preparing a register of DCC-owned buildings which may contain asbestos so their state could be audited.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

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