Last Updated: 03 Sep 2021
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR WATER USERS
Holme Pierrepont Country Park home of the National Water Sports Centre has a wide range of water sports and activities that take place in open and natural waters. This natural and beautiful environment is one of the main attractions of the site, but as with any open water it is important to observe some simple rules to remain safe and healthy.
The water facilities at Holme Pierrepont Country Park are supplied from a variety of sources including surface streams and the River Trent. The water quality is monitored carefully for indicators of bacteria activity. These indicators are a forecast of the likelihood of the presence of harmful bacteria, the forecast indicators are reviewed against microbiological sample results to monitor their effectiveness.
The below information details potential risk to health that exists in any open water but please remember that the vast majority of water users at the site have no problem at all and by remaining mindful and following the tips below the risks are further decreased. Stay safe and healthy.
Whilst enjoying your water sports always remember to:
- Avoid undue immersion in natural waters
- Avoid swallowing the water
- Cover minor scratches or cuts with a water proof plaster
- Wash or shower as soon as possible after water sports and before eating or drinking
- Use footwear to protect your feet
- Rinse equipment with clean water after use
- Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water
What kind of illness may occur?
The vast majority of people using Holme Pierrepont Country Park facilities have no ill effects at all. Most symptoms of illnesses caused by micro-organisms such as norovirus, giardia and cryptosporidium, will generally be mild. However, there is also a risk of more severe infections caused by micro-organisms such as E.coli O157 which may cause severe gastrointestinal illness and leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), which can cause liver and kidney problems. Should any of these symptoms occur you are advised to consult a doctor.
Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease)
Human infection usually comes from organisms shed in the urine of infected animals. Infections can range from a mild flu-like illness to a serious illness requiring hospital treatment and sometimes leading to kidney or liver failure. When jaundice occurs (from liver failure) the illness, known as Weil’s disease, can be fatal and is a noticeable illness, but it is fortunately a very rare occurrence.
How is the disease caught?
The infection which causes Weil’s disease is commonly carried by rats and excreted in rat urine, which contaminates water and wet river banks. This bacteria does not survive in dry conditions. The likelihood of becoming infected is decreased in swift moving streams and rivers than stagnant or slow moving waterways, particularly in high water conditions. The infection can enter the body through skin abrasions or through eyes, nose and mouth. It can enter the bloodstream more rapidly through minor cuts in skin, especially on the feet, or if you roll or do capsize drill.
Hepatitis A (Infectious Hepatitis)
Hepatitis A is a virus infection of the liver which can vary from mild or non-apparent illness to (rarely) a severe disabling disease lasting several months. The infection is caused by swallowing food or water contaminated with the virus which is present in faeces of infected patients and in waters contaminated with sewage. Infection may also be caused by swallowing water during sports. The incubation period varies from 2 to 6 weeks after swallowing the virus. The onset illness is abrupt, with loss of appetite, fever, nausea and abdominal discomfort, followed within a few days by jaundice. If you become ill at any time with these symptoms, call your doctor and tell them you have participated in water sports activities.
What should I do if I become ill?
Whilst it is extremely rare to contract these infections, there is a risk in any open water and therefore it is important to be informed and to follow the preventative measures shown in this leaflet. Common symptoms are sudden onset of fever, intense headache, sickness, diarrhea, severe pains in calf and back muscles, red eyes and prostration. If you have any illness after water sports go straight to your GP and tell them about your participation and do not go swimming again until the symptoms are completely gone.
Please make us aware of any illness by contacting us