Moray Hydrotherapy facility closed after high bacteria levels found

A Hydrotherapy facility opened three years ago after extensive fundraising has been closed to allow investigations into why it was found to have a high bacterial count.

The Moray Hydrotherapy Pool in Forres was created as a result of a ten-year campaign led by arthritis sufferer May Taylor and was the first of its kind opened in the region.

Before the pool was opened people who would benefit from treatment in a hydrotherapy pool had to travel to Dingwall – however, Moray fundraisers managed to raise £260,000 that resulted in the Forres pool opening in June 2011.

It was during routine monthly sampling of water at the pool that high levels of bacteria were found in the water, with Moray Council environmental health staff taking samples from all swimming pools in Moray on a regular basis.

The most recent sample from the Forres facility indicated a high bacterial count and so closure of the pool was recommended with immediate effect. Further tests were carried out on Tuesday – the results of these test will not be known until early next week and the pool will remain closed until further notice.

A council spokesman said: “In the meantime the water has been super-chlorinated and the water temperature has been lowered in the hope of exterminating the bacteria. The higher the water temperature, the easier it is for bacteria to survive.”

The water temperature in the hydrotherapy pool is several degrees higher than in normal swimming pools.

The spokesman added: “Some operational aspects of the hydrotherapy pool will be reviewed to minimise the likelihood of any recurrence of this type of bacteria. This could potentially impact on the level of usage of the pool.

“The current situation at the hydrotherapy pool has no impact on the main Forres swimming pool which is continuing to operate as normal.”

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