An aerial view of the Yamba ocean pool.
An aerial view of the Yamba ocean pool. Adam Hourigan

YAMBA OCEAN POOL: 'Smell was putrid'

ONE of Belinda Burke's greatest joys is swimming in the Yamba ocean pool when she visits her holiday home in the town, but now the smell is turning her away.

When Bill and Belinda Burke last visited, they were shocked by the smell and state of the pool.

They said they had stopped going to the beach while they were here from October 21 to November 4 because the "smell was putrid"

"It was disgusting. So bad I couldn't swim in it," Mrs Burke said. After a dip in the pool, she said she couldn't get the smell out of her bathers, even after washing them.

She said the smell lingered near main beach and in wind blew the smell onto Clarence St.

Mrs Burke said it was in a similar state last Christmas. She said she understands the smell depends on the tides and the fact the pool needs work done to it. However Mrs Burke believes in the meantime, the pool should be cleaned weekly so people can use it hygienically.

"At least get it cleaned more frequently. In the interim, keep it clean and the tourists can come," she said.

She described the pool as an absolute gem and an icon in Yamba, but now she will have to swim at Whiting Beach.

"Yamba is a beach place and the whole town floats on tourism. They wouldn't sustain population without the tourist trade," she said.

When the Burke's left on Sunday they said it hadn't been cleaned once while they had been visiting.

She is hopeful it's cleaned regularly over the summer so it can be used by tourists and locals.

Clarence Valley Council works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said one of the attractions of ocean pools was that they allowed the free movement of water from the ocean into the pool.

"But that can also be one of their pitfalls because the ocean carries marine life, including seaweed, which can make its way into the pools," he said.

"That's what has happened in Yamba. We've had some big swells and north east winds that have carried seaweed into the pool and it can't get out."

In a statement from October 31 Mr Anderson said the pool was cleaned less than two weeks ago, and will be cleaned again next week when tidal conditions allow access.

"But it is completely natural and something we just have to learn to live with," Mr Anderson said.