Paddling pools and splash parks
All paddling pool and splash (water play) park sites will remain closed until further notice.
Why are BCP Council not opening paddling pools and water play parks?
All of our pools and water play are free to use and have no access control therefore we are not able to limit numbers to meet social distancing in line guidance to keep everyone safe. Guidance comes from both the Government and from relevant governing body guidance - Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) and Swim England.
What is the guidance in relation to paddling pools and water play?
The paddling pool and water play guidance is unclear on paddling pools and water play, as current guidance is aimed at leisure centres, public swimming pools and lidos, where there is controlled or chargeable entry and track/trace can be implemented. Meeting Government guidance requires us to use regularly tested chlorinated water – many water play facilities use mains (unchlorinated) water, whilst current systems for our paddling pools are not geared up to test at the frequencies required by guidance. Government guidance recommends limiting numbers on sites, developing timed bookings and queuing systems; all parks and therefore our sites are open access and cannot be easily managed to control access and numbers. Meeting guidance standards would require sites being staffed throughout periods of operation; these facilities are traditionally free and unsupervised by the council.
Why can’t numbers be limited to meet social distancing guidance?
On warm sunny days the pools and water play sites are incredibly popular and they have no access controls in place to limit the numbers of users. In order to limit numbers, extra staff would need to be employed, fencing added and access arrangements put in place, such as time limited bands or a booking system introduced. This is not practical or financially viable to introduce across sites in time for this summer.
Are BCP Council likely to open paddling pools and water play this year?
We will continue to monitor the Government guidance however it is very unlikely under current guidance that paddling pools and water play will open this year.
If you would like to read the national guidance, here are some links: