A Number of Swimmers at Settlement Cove Lagoon Reported to Have Suffered Skin, Eye Irritation

A number of people, including a seven-year-old girl, claimed to have suffered from skin injuries similar to a “chemical burn” after swimming at Settlement Cove in Redcliffe last December 2022. 

Seven-year-old Emily Lee, who was with her mum Sophie, was swimming at the lagoon at Settlement Cove last 23 December 2022 for about an hour when she started to feel pain in her private parts. 

Sophie said that a couple of hours after they left the lagoon, they had to rush her daughter to the hospital as her belly was already swollen and she couldn’t pee because of the pain. 

She said that the experience left her daughter traumatised.

Other families who visited Settlement Cove claimed to have experienced extreme pain, burning eyes and itchiness after swimming at the lagoon. They said that it took days before the itching and other symptoms subsided.

Moreton Bay Regional Council maintains that the lagoon is safe as its comprehensive water testing procedure is above industry standards, ensuring the best possible water quality across all public swimming facilities. 

Council does advise anyone sensitive to chlorine exposure due to skin or health conditions to seek medical advice before swimming in public pools. 

Council added that it immediately conducted a review of its water testing records following a post in an online forum and confirmed that the water quality readings that day were within the safe range.

Independent testing of water taken from the lagoon, however, reportedly revealed that it had a high pH of 7.7 which is beyond the acceptable range of 7.2 to 7.6. The results also showed low levels of alkalinity and Cyanuric Acid or chlorine stabilizer and high levels of phosphates.

Low alkalinity in the pool is unsafe for swimmers as it can cause eye and skin irritation.

Published 12-January-2023