National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Aquatic Technical Operations
Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre
Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre (ITAC) is proudly managed by Belgravia Leisure in partnership with the City of Sydney Council. ITAC is one of 5 pools within the City of Sydney that is operated by Belgravia Leisure and was opened in 2007 by the Hon. Frank Sartor. The Centre was designed by Harry Seidler and is widely acclaimed for its signature curved roof design, receiving an International Architecture Award in 2009.
ITAC is a hub for many in the community who come to participate in exercise or even just to grab a bite to eat or drink. The Centre attracts around 800,000 visitations annually of which around 150,000 are from target populations (older population, disadvantaged persons, persons with accessibility/mobility issues etc). ITAC also provides swimming lessons each week to 2,200 students and plays a crucial role in educating those within the community about water safety.
ITAC's future plans are to assist other Belgravia Centre's/sites in developing or fine tuning their technical operations based off the results of the procedures and policies implemented at ITAC. This greatly assists other Centre's in the industry to provide the highest level of health and safety to those who visit our Centre's and ensuring that swimming is fun for everyone.
What it means
This would be an outstanding achievement for the technical operators at ITAC who have worked consistently within the industry for years with the cumulative aim of providing the highest quality and level of service possible. All our operators have been unbelievably enthusiastic and supportivein assisting in the development and implementation of the procedures and is an award truly deserved by the team.
Describe how the nominee has provided a contribution to their community / industry in Aquatic Technical Operations
Through the procedures implemented over the past year, Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre has developed stringent policies and procedures that not only ensures an incredibly high quality of water but also ensures the operations are sustainable and have minimal impact on the local environment and community. These procedures are trained to be second nature to all technical operators. This results in clean, efficiently managed water and ensures the health and safety of all patrons who swim at ITAC.
Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Aquatic Technical Operations over the past 12-18 months
ITAC has significantly improved its method of reporting and logging technical data such as pool test results, microbiology results, pool plant operations and utility issues/readings. We have developed a traffic light pool water quality system providing instant feedback on pool tests and microbiology samples allowing those with and without operational knowledge to infer results quickly and accurately. We have also set-up remote monitoring and control of pool chemical controllers, enabling operators to spot potential faults before they occur or, receive fault alarms via email for correction; both are vital components to the successful management of pool water quality. ITAC achieved 100% compliance in Health and Safety Systems and Technical Operations sections of its' 2019 Aquatic Facility Safety Audit. The city of Sydney Aquatic Facilities also received the 2018 ARI Award for Environmental Sustainability.
Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to the health and safety through Aquatic Technical Operations
ITAC has shown significant commitment to Health and Safety through its regular super-chlorination and hyper-chlorination practices as well as ensuring to always follow NSW Health guidelines if a contamination is found/reported. Super-chlorination's are conducted every week on a Sunday evening with the free chlorine levels raised to the recommended 10ppm. This ensures all microbiological contaminants are effectively killed and removed from the system. Our hyper-chlorination's are conducted twice a year over Christmas day and Good Friday when the facility is closed to the public. Over these periods, all pools are raised above 25ppm of chlorine and left for over 24 hours. These practices compliment each other and have resulted in consistently perfect microbiology results.
Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Aquatic Technical Operations and how have they been overcome
Barriers encountered by ITAC was ensuring that all staff trained in pool operations, received the same information and level of training as new policies and procedures were implemented. This was also a challenge when new staff were on-boarded due to the requirement for the new employee \ to take in a lot of detailed information pertaining to ITAC's technical operations. Due to the significant amount of change, pool operators were required to be regularly trained in each policy and procedure as well as given the opportunity to provide feedback. Although initially a challenge, ITAC has reaped the benefits of these processes and since there initial inception, has made significant improvements to fine tune the procedures and ensure the highest level of technical operations for all staff.