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Bug-scare water feature stays shut; Pool closed until spring after more than 30 complaints.

Byline: JONATHAN GOODE and DEAN VALLER

THE water feature in Coventry's War Memorial Park, which was shut following a health scare, is to remain closed until next spring.

The children's pool was closed following allegations that it had made children ill with sickness and diarrhoea.

More than 30 families have complained to the council about the feature, which opened in July.

Coventry City Council said today tests taken so far had showed no trace of a bug but the water feature would not be open again until spring.

One family claimed tests on a child had revealed a trace of the parasite, cryptosporidium.

But the authority said its subsequent tests had shown there was a variety of reasons for children falling sick.

Tim Bryan, head of culture and leisure, said other samples had also proved negative for bacteria or viruses linked to illnesses.

He said the council was working with environmental health offi- cers and was keeping the feature closed, as a precaution.

Mr Bryan said: "Until all the results and analysis of this complex investigation are complete, we intend to keep the feature closed."

The water feature was eventually opened at the end of July after months of delays but was shut off again just a few weeks later as children playing in the water came down with a succession of ailments.

Mr Bryan added more work might be necessary on the feature, once the investigation is complete, but stressed it was always intended only to be open for the summer.

The City Council's Public Protection Service has sent a written update of its ongoing investigation to all those who have complained of illnesses.

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SPECTACLE: But the appeal of the new water feature in Coventry's War Memorial Park has proved short-lived amid controversy
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 16, 2003
Words:296
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