Second Birmingham Pool Shut After Parasitic Bug Cryptosporidium Found In Water

Closure of Northfield Leisure Centre’s pools following sickness outbreak among customers at Cocks Moors Woods last month


Hayley Court, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

A second Birmingham swimming pool has been forced to close after parasitic bug Cryptosporidium was found in the water.

The discovery was made at Northfield Leisure Centre last week after staff tested the water after a customer defecated in the pool.

The closure comes a month after a similar discovery at Cocks Moors Woods where young swimmers developed diarrhoea and sickness.

The Birmingham Mail reported that Public Health England believed the cryptosporidiosis outbreak at Cocks Moors Woods was triggered by an individual who had not been clear of the symptoms for up to three weeks.

The pool was closed on 23 May after tests revealed the chlorine-resistant infection was in the water.

Now a month later Birmingham Leisure Community Trust is waiting for results to come back from its large swimming pool after independent tests detected the presence of Cryptosporidium in the teaching pool water.

A pop-up on the Trust’s website from Friday said the swimming pools at Northfield Leisure Centre will remain closed until further notice.

It said: “Both pools were closed on 14 June for thorough cleaning after a customer defecated in the water. In addition to the normal procedures, we tested the water for Cryptosporidium as an extra precaution in light of recent issues at Cocks Moors Woods.”

The Trust said it was discussing next steps with the Council, including the length of time it will take to carry out the necessary measures to eradicate the bug from the water.

Specialist Public Health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have dealt with hundreds of cases involving Cryptosporidium, last month expressed concerns that children who fell ill after contracting Cryptosporidium may face long-term health complications.

Clare Comiskey, expert public health lawyer at the firm said the latest case fuelled the concern about levels of hygiene in the Trust’s pools.

Expert Opinion
“The discovery of Cryptosporidium at the Cocks Moors Woods pool last month was very concerning as we know from experience how serious the illness it causes can be for children.

So to hear now that a second pool has identified the presence of Cryptosporidium in its water raises further questions.

It’s encouraging that the pool has been closed until results from the large pool are returned and the matter can be dealt with.

In cases such as these the focus should always be on public protection and the reasons why this happened need to be explored. Customers also need to be reassured that everything is being done to prevent further recurrences.

Cryptosporidium can have very serious health implications and long-term issues for those affected; something we see first-hand in our work so it’s important everything is done to prevent anyone else from falling ill.”
Clare Comiskey, Associate

Birmingham Leisure Community Trust Northfield Leisure Centre’s pools would be closed until further notice and customers should check its website or social media for further updates.