Robottom responds to East Bank pool concerns

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 19, 2019

RESERVE — A group of at least 15 women dressed in bathing suits and wrapped in towels entered the St. John the Baptist Parish government building in LaPlace Friday morning, demanding action be taken on a broken pump at the Regala Park swimming pool.

The women, participants in the free water aerobics program offered by St. John Parish, approached Parish President Natalie Robottom with health and sanitation concerns surrounding the East Bank swimming pool.

Group spokesperson Ann Harvey was unhappy to see a new pump, ordered last week, had not been installed in time for water aerobics at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

“The pool had dead lizards all over the place,” Harvey said. “It had fungus all over the place.”

Harvey also spoke of litter surrounding pool grounds for days before workers cleaned the area and emptied trashcans Monday morning. She voiced concerns of summer camp children utilizing the pool, which she said had filthy water and hair in shower drains.

The water was clearer on Monday morning than on Friday, according to Harvey, who said Parish workers shocked the pool to clean it without replacing the pump.

In comparing pictures taken of pool conditions from Friday to Monday morning, Robottom said the slight cloudiness seen last week did not measure up to the claims of algae and filthy water.

She said a new pump has been ordered and will be in place for recreational use before the end of this week.

The existing pump is no more than a few years old, according to Robottom, who said the malfunction should have been reported to and handled by the Parks and Recreation Department, located next door to the pool.

“Some of those things should have clearly been done prior to the pool opening,” Robottom said, adding the pool opened to water aerobics this month a week earlier than it opens to the public.

She added Parks and Recreation has been short on staff in 2019 due to illness and extreme health complications.

Now that the problem has been brought to light, Robottom said work crews were on scene early this week to maintain the pool and replace worn planks on poolside benches.

“All those are things, in preparation for summer, need to be looked at and adjusted,” Robottom said. “Keep in mind that because of the long-term absences, it wasn’t done as it should’ve been, but once it was identified, immediately, the work started.”

East Bank water aerobics classes build cardiovascular fitness and strength through gentle exercise from 8 to 8:45 a.m. on weekday mornings. Classes start in June and extend past the end of summer, until the pool water becomes too cold for comfort.

The class is free and open to adults ages 18 and older at 194 Regala Park Road in Reserve.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 985-652-9569 or visit