Agency denies risks of Diana memorial fountain

Royal Parks rebutt tabloid claims of dangerous levels of bacteria

Claims in a national newspaper over dangerous bacteria levels in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain have been rebutted by the Royal Parks agency. A study by Gloucestershire-based Studies In Work, commissioned by The Sun newspaper, found bacterial levels to be some 840 times the recommended maximum safe levels. Among the germs found were E. coli, Pseudomonas and Streptococci. However, it seems the tabloid has inflamed the situation by commissioning the wrong kind of study. A Royal Parks representative said: “The standard that The Sun newspaper was using as a measure was for fully enclosed public swimming baths, which is inappropriate. “The fountain should be judged on the European Bathing Waters Regulations, which all UK beaches are judged on, and we’ve passed these with flying colours.” The £3.6 million water feature remains closed indefinitely after three people slipped on its granite surface on 22 July. Following these latest setbacks, members of the original Diana Memorial Committee have spoken out about the fountain. Architect Edward Jones and The Times art critic Richard Cork both said artist Anish Kapoor’s design should have been chosen instead of Kathryn Gustafson’s design. An investigation has been carried out to help remedy the series of setbacks experienced by the fountain since it opened on 6 July.

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