Septic tank was in the middle of pre-school play area – HSE report
A SEPTIC tank was found in the middle of the outdoor play area of a pre-school catering for 20 children, a newly-published inspector's report has revealed.
This posed potential problems in the event of gases being discharged or the system backing up, which would result in effluent being discharged.
The inspectors who were visiting Croi na nOg at Aughnagrange, Boyle, Co Roscommon over two days said there was very poor surface water drainage in the outdoor play area.
"The grassed area is waterlogged and children were observed to be playing in a large pool of muddy water," the inspectors reported in January this year.
"The ladder to the treehouse and slide unit was very slippy and the landing area of the treehouse was muddy, making it unsuitable for outdoor play."
The previous day the children were also seen playing in a large pool of muddy rain-water, leaving them at risk of infection and drowning.
The inspectors ordered that the septic tank be fenced off, and remedial work be carried out to improve drainage of surface water.
The front door of the premises was unlocked – allowing the inspecting officers to enter the premises unguarded. On the second day of inspection, the room temperature was just 13 degrees centigrade when it should have been between 18 and 22 degrees.
Responding to the HSE inspectors, who had also visited the previous November, the managers of the pre-school appealed for time to rectify some issues, such as the installation of ventilation and thermostatic controlled water.
"We have had several meetings with parents and committee members to discuss the garden and have a few ideas," the letter stated. A request was also made to meet HSE staff to clarify what is acceptable.
A separate inspection of Boyle Social Services Playschool, in the Crescent, Boyle, Co Roscommon, found that the light-fitting covers were not adequate to protect children and adults below from "falling glass".
Cobwebs were found in ceilings, the upstairs toilets and in the pre-school toilets, indicating a lack of cleaning. Cloth hand towels were used for hand-drying. These could harbour bacteria and not considered hygenic.
Des Curley, secretary of the Boyle Social Services Playschool, said yesterday all of the issues highlighted had been rectified.
He said a report from a workshop had revealed high levels of stress among childcare providers in the county and huge demands were being made without proper supports.