SporTT comes clean on dirty pools

A local contractor has been working with the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) to assist with the cleaning up of the swimming pools at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva. When Newsday visited the facility on Monday, only two of the three pools were usable, with the water in the main pool turned green.

Dinanath Ramnarine, chairman of SporTT, during an interview yesterday, said the machinery used to clean the pools at the Aquatic Centre is currently not operational.

He promised though, that the pools will be cleaned in time for the National Short Course Swimming Championships scheduled to splash off tomorrow. Ramnarine said a replacement for the machinery was being sourced from the United States.

“The swimming pool is being cleaned as we speak,” said Ramnarine. “What happened is the machinery that is required to clean the bottom of the pool is broken and we have to (get one) from overseas. So we’re purchasing (one).”

Ramnarine, the former TT and West Indies cricketer, continued, “In the meantime, what we have done is engage a contractor to clean the pool and they are using their equipment.”

Ramnarine declined to reveal who was contracted to clean the pool.

“We asked somebody who can actually do the (job). We don’t want the pool to be that way.”

The SporTT chairman assured that the pools would be 100-percent ready by today. “It is being worked on,” he said.

The Centre has been inactive since the National Age Group Short Course Championships which took place in July.

Ramnarine insisted that maintenance work was regularly done at the venue.

“The pool is being cleaned all the time,” he said. “What would have happened is that, as a result of the machinery (breaking down) and so on, it ended up that way. But (getting) the machinery is taking much longer than we would have anticipated. (The cleaning) is something that could happen in a couple days.”

Ramnarine continued, “If the pump is not working and the machinery is not working, you would have a situation where that (water turning green) could happen to the pool. As is right now, work is being done to get it to the level that is required. It’s just that we are unable to do anything and we require external assistance for us to address this issue.”

Anthony Blake, who previously served as facility manager of SporTT, was among five officials who were fired last Thursday after a forensic audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) into the operations of the Company.

But Ramnarine noted that the absence of a facility manager was not the reason for the unfit condition of the pools in recent times.

“I don’t think that this could have been (avoided),” said the ex-West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president. “We could have (hired) the contractor earlier but, once we get the machinery, I don’t think that this should be an issue. It’s not like a house swimming pool.

“We recognise that there is an issue. It’s a concern for us. We wouldn’t want it to get that way and we’re doing anything in our power to ensure that the pool comes back to its pristine condition.”


"SporTT comes clean on dirty pools"

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