Floaters were the most common reason for swimming pool closures across South Lanarkshire last year.

A Freedom of Information Request has revealed accidental faecal release (AFR) caused the most partial closures.

South Lanarkshire Lifestyles' pool in Lanark was closed FIVE times for AFR for a total of seven days.

Larkhall Leisure Centre, the Dollan Aqua Centre in East Kilbride and Strathaven Leisure Centre were also closed for a total of five days because of an AFR last year.

The leisure pool at Hamilton Water Palace was subject to the longest closure after structural damage to the stairs forced at 245 day closure.

The sauna and leisure pool jacuzzi at Hamilton Water Palace, the steam room, hydro pool and sauna at South Lanarkshire Lifestyles in Lanark and the pool at Coalburn Leisure Centre (three) were closed on eight separate occasions for a combined 220 days after a technical failure.

And the Dollan was shut for 82 days after vandals targeted the East Kilbride institution, trashing the reception area and smashing a hole in a reinforced viewing window, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Hundreds of gallons of water from the Olympic-sized pool ripped through the building, destroying areas of it and causing mass disruption.

Hundreds of hours of classes had to be cancelled and moved because of the mindless attack affecting thousands of people.

Fourteen leisure venues across the region were closed at least once during 2019.

Equipment failure was the most common reason for a full closure as the Whitemoss 3G pitches at the John Wright Sports Centre were closed twice for a total of 138 days.

The famous viewing window was smashed by vandals and has now been replaced
The famous viewing window was smashed by vandals and has now been replaced

David Booth, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) general manager, said: “South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture operates a large and varied number of venues across South Lanarkshire, on behalf of the council, the majority of which operate without issue every day.

“However, as with any major service provider, there will be incidents that we can’t foresee.

“Regardless of the cause, our teams on the ground, led by facility and venue managers, will work to ensure that inconvenience is kept to a minimum and, where possible, our centres are re-opened as soon as is possible.

“Where longer closures or delays are likely we communicate this to our members and users and keep them up to date throughout.”

SLLC have also said they display and issue advice regularly in a bid to prevent incidents such as AFR.

Their advice includes:

When these incidents happen, the pool needs to be closed to allow SLLC to carry out a strict cleaning regime to remove any harmful bacteria.

Timescale for this can vary based on volume of pool water, turnover and chemical treatment.