A damning report into the condition of seven public pools across the Central West has revealed there are high risks of people drowning and of pool equipment failing.
The report prepared for Cabonne Council found about $3 million would be needed to repair and upgrade the pools.
The Cabonne Swimming Pools Masterplan, prepared by sport and leisure consultants the Otium Planning Group, also found the council's least-used pool, in Eugowra, was costing council $42 every time someone went to use it.
A lack of qualified, experienced and well-trained staffConsultants' report to Cabonne Council
It said the council lost about $1 million operating the seven pools in 2019-20 and received only $42,194 income from entry fees and grant funding.
The report said despite Molong having a similar population to the best-used pool at Canowindra, 50 per cent less people used the Molong pool.
It said there was a high risk of 'drowning/death/major incident' at both these pools due to "a lack of emergency plan and equipment, poor supervision practices, lack of qualified, experienced and well-trained staff, lack of regular staff training for incident scenarios and lifeguard competencies [and] a lack of updated records, evidence of staff qualifications, training attendance, evacuation drill training, inductions and plant/chemical training."
It has recommended council seek to lease out the operation of all the pools to "one professional contract management company".
The report said both the Eugowra and Manildra pools need remediation work to fix pipes before they can be opened again.
The Eugowra pool has a "significant" leak while there was an "extreme" risk of pipework failure at the Manildra pool.
The report also found the Molong pool's storeroom and plantroom was 70 years old and in a "poor state".
"The chlorine gas systems at Molong, Yeoval and Cumnock represent serious Work, Health and Safety concerns," it said.
"Most of the plant rooms and associated mechanical plant represent a risk to staff and contractors due to their age and design.
"Council has noted ongoing difficulties in securing regular centre managers each year. A lack of consistency is resulting in additional resources required for training and troubleshooting. This also results in increased risk and safety [concerns]."
Most of the pools do not have a first aid room.
Council will consider the report at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. A staff report recommends it go on public exhibition for 28 days.
It was also noted the council did not plan to cut down on the number of pools "due to the strong value placed on these assets by the Cabonne communities".
The pools are in Canowindra, Molong, Yeoval, Cumnock, Cudal, Manildra and Eugowra.
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