Pool closed after tiles break-up

LEISURE bosses have moved to reassure swimmers they were not at risk after glazed tiles lifted away from a pool bottom leaving shards of sharp material in the water.

LEISURE bosses have moved to reassure swimmers they were not at risk after glazed tiles lifted away from a pool bottom leaving shards of sharp material in the water.

The damage, at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, is thought to have happened on Sunday evening, and has left chiefs facing a large repair bill.

A large area in the main pool has been affected, and bosses have been forced to close the facility while water is drained and tiles re-layed.

Eric Armstrong, leisure facilities manager for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which owns the pool, said the damage was discovered by staff on Monday.


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"It is a serious problem," he said. "A row of tiles had lifted in the main swimming pool, are coming away from the fixings, while some are cracked.

"Things got worse as the morning progressed, with more and more lifting where the water had got under them.

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"As they are glazed, the tiles are almost like shards of glass and can be sharp. We could not just section off the affected area and let people use the rest of the pool as there could have been pieces still floating in the water."

The damage has occurred half-way down the pool. It is thought it happened when water leached under the tiles.

"A decision has been taken to empty the pool, which has to be done over a four or five day period to ensure the structure and integrity of the pool is maintained," added Mr Armstrong.

"We are having estimates collected for the repair, and it certainly won't be cheap. On top of that comes loss of income and, more importantly, the loss of facilities to the local community.

"But is obviously better to be safe than sorry."

The pool was shut after the damage was discovered, and it is likely to remain closed while a pre-planned upgrade takes place.

During this period, ageing plant machinery will be replaced. Work is due to start on April 19, and will take 16 weeks to complete.

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