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Olympic Pool Complex currently closed

1 July 2021

The Olympic Pool complex will be closed until further notice following the discovery of loose sealant that was covering asbestos containing material (ACM) in the overflow drain of the outdoor pool.

The sealant failure was found in the 33m pool’s overflow drain during routine maintenance and after further investigation, the decision was made to close the complex on Monday.

The World Health Organisation states there is no consistent, convincing evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous to health.

The health risks with asbestos occur when it is dry and inhaled.

“We’re working with the assessors to understand how this happened and determine next steps to get the pool open again,” said Council liveable spaces manager De-Arne Sutherland.

“The outdoor pool was painted and theoverflow channel was covered with an ACM sealant nine months ago. It appears this sealant has failed and we’re working with the contractor involved to understand how it’s failed and possible solutions.”

The outdoor pool is usually closed over winter but had remained open while repairs and asbestos remediation was carried out on the indoor 50m pool.

The Olympic Pool complex was built over 45 years ago.  Asbestos is common in Gisborne buildings and pools that were built between the 1940s and 1980s.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says Council is making excellent progress on planning and designs for the new pool.

“In two years we’ll will have an exceptional new facility that is fit for purpose. We’re fine tuning designs now and we’re hoping to have them ready to share with the community in the coming weeks.”