Appendix A

Case Histories: Swimming-pool Filter-motor Noise Pollution

From the start of the campaign in May 1985, many hundreds of people came forward and reported to CAUSE the problems that this form of noise pollution was causing in their lives. The following are a few excerpts from these anecdotes for which notes were taken during May 1985. Many more were received in the ensuing years, mostly verbally, for which written recordings were not made. However, the anecdotes below are consistent with the many hundreds of others we heard subsequently.

Carseldine: I am concerned about the lack of laws giving people the right to peace in their own homes...... we have asked our local alderman to require soundproofing of these motors..... we wasted our time.... how ridiculous!...... laws should be introduced.... it’s industrial noise in a suburban environment.... air-conditioners are horrific also.

Chapel Hill: I don’t keep good health.... lived at Norman Park, tried to get BCC to do something but failed.... didn’t sleep well and had to take sleeping pills.... shifted to Chapel Hill to get away from it.... when we got there, there were no pools, now we have two near us....don’t want the hassle of shifting again so putting up with it: we have changed our life-style: for example, when we get out of bed we shift to the other side of the house when it comes on.

Sandgate: I am over 80 years of age and a pensioner....I have put up with it for over seven years....has driven me mad....BCC said nothing could be often runs 24 hours a day in summer....I often get up and walk down the street on hot summer night and sit in the gutter when the machine is on.

West Chermside: I have tested the laws and found them hopeless....I have argument is against the whole concept of allowing indiscriminate recreational noise in suburban areas....someone can construct a pool or tennis court next to me and then I have to suffer the screams and yells....I am a writer and such noise has been destructive of my work....I feel like shooting holes in the pool.....I am shifting to get away from it.

Woodridge: I live in a neighbor has a spa bath....the noise vibrated through the wall of my was neighbor refuses to rectify, calling me unreasonable....Justice Department got neighbor to shift motor but it is now only eight feet further away so it is not much there is a complete breakdown of neighborly relationships....I am a nurse and work shift work.

Scarborough: My neighbor has a pump motor that runs 7-11 AM and 2-5:30’s a monster....I take a radio when working in the garden and have to have it blaring to drown out the motor....this neighbor also has a centralized vacuum cleaner that they use about an hour a’s far louder then the filter but does not run for so long.

Chapel Hill: My family shifted house to get away from pool filters....we were surrounded by three....had to keep bedroom windows shut all night even in summer....repeated requests to change running times proved futile.....we finally shifted....and this had the effect of greatly reducing stress and tension within the home.

Townsville: Our problem is a spa bath motor which is located outside our bedroom window....they often use it at 2:30 AM when one is in a deep sleep....we are going to have to air-condition the bedroom....have spoken to neighbors without success.

Sunnybank Hills: Pool pump next to our bedroom....drives you mad....if you are ill in bed it’s fact you can’t stay there....we have to take a mattress and lie on the other side of the’s all wrong that I should have to go to the expense of a sound-proof cover (when it is their pool) but I’m going to have to do least they will cooperate and let me pay for it.

Kallangur: I live with a lady who has aneurysm and lymphoma....she is supposed to have peace and quiet and no tension....common for machine to run for 14 hours a day....screaming people in pool....5m from bedroom....on hot summer days we have to shut house up completely....had to install ceiling fans to help keep the house cool....the lady went into hospital recently, she needs rest before and after but could not get it at home....caused a lot of stress and tension.

Clayfield: Motor 10 feet from bedroom....they put a box around it but it’s useless....I asked them to put insulation inside the box but they haven’t done anything....they are nice people and this ironically adds to the problem and the tension between neighbors....I’m semi-retired and if I want to take a nap after lunch I have to sleep on the other side of the house....I use ear plugs when working in the garden but they are not of much use.

Townsville: I often sit in my study and wonder what ingenious, devious method I could use to ‘blow-up’ the incessant pool filter noise 10 feet from my window....I am a teacher who has gone back to university to study....I am unable to study in my own study....I bought a pair of earmuffs used by the air-force but the noise just goes right through, albeit at a reduced level....the neighbors have also installed an air-conditioner which, along with another pool filter further away results in an orchestrated cacophony of noise.....Townsville City Council tells me this is not a problem in Townsville! What garbage! I complained to the Police: they said "you are too sensitive!"

Coopers Plains: My problem has been brought under control, at least within limits with which I can live. But it has only been done at great cost to myself. I paid for all the work.

Cairns: I have been experiencing sleepless nights from the motor next shouldn’t have to shut all windows in a tropical’s wonderful when we have heavy rain: the noise is lost....I’m reluctant to take him to court because of the cost....I’m a music teacher and the incessant hum affects the quality of my music hearing....state of affairs when has to become insensitive to live in today’s world.

Keperra: They run it for nine hours a day....asked them to cover it, they put a fibro cover over it which was useless....we offered to pay to have it done properly, they refused, difficult people to get along with....we go away at week-ends to get away from it....through the week I go up to Mt. Nebo and park there till it has gone off....police queried me why I was doing this so often....we had a patio built some years ago but we can’t use it because of the motor.

The Gap: We had the problem for about three that time driven mad....became an obsession how I could solve the problem....all my waking hours I sought to solve the problem....neighbour wouldn’t cooperate....they shifted and a better neighbor allowed me to cover the motor.....cost me $300 (in 1981 dollars)....after solving the problem we shifted to acreage to get away from all the suburban noise problems.

Aspley: Have had the problem for seven years....uncooperative neighbors....goes 14 hours a day....we don’t speak any more....husband has had a stroke.... motor has a high pitched whine....pools should never have been allowed in suburban nerves are bad....have to keep windows and doors shut....intolerable in summer.....have to keep changing bedrooms.

Kenmore: Shifting to get away from a pool motor: often runs 12 hours a day.

Wavell Heights: Motors should be totally enclosed in a soundproof box....should not be allowed to cause annoyance to neighbors....should be adequate inspection of pools....society today has little concern for others....pools should be allowed only on 10 acre lots.

Nerang: I am troubled by the noise from swimming pool pump - Council measured 56 dB(A) in my bedroom.

Townsville: I work at the airport all day....when I get home I’d like some quiet....loud, high pitched....have to close windows, but windows don’t keep the noise out.

Northgate: The whole concept of private pools in suburbs is a menace.......unearthly screams and shrieks from people....they have a dog which runs around the pool and barks the clacks from the bug zapper which runs all night and zaps mosquitoes....we are forced to tolerate these infringements on our rights and no matter how hard we try, we cannot block these noises out....we bought heavy curtains which we could ill-afford and stuffed cotton will in our ears: all to no avail....have considered shifting but this would not be by choice because we have spent a lifetime here....this is our home....we will have to do something because the neighbors on the other side have now installed a pool and yet another bug zapper.

Wishart: Pool motor two meters from bedroom.....have had it for four years....council won’t do anything....previous owners of my house shifted to get away from it....they are often in the pool till 11 PM screaming and yelling.....then they turn the filter on and go to bed....I escaped from Hungary after the Revolution to get peace and freedom and here we are trapped with this impossible situation.....every night my wife and I shift when it on to the other side of the house to God, what an obscenity.

Eight Mile Plains: Have eight (yes, eight!) pools around us....two pool near our bedroom....I have arthritis and are considering air-conditioning bedroom to get some sleep but air-conditioning is no good for arthritis...we sleep on the other side of the house...we will eventually shift to escape.

Toowong: motor on six-eight hours a to our kitchen....changed our life-styles by cooking at different times.....terrible when you come home from work and you would like peace.

Sunnybank Hills: Motor sending us "dotty".

Kenmore Hills: Moved from Chapel Hill to get away from it.....but can still hear them here.

The Gap: Surrounded by four pools....motors can be on either simultaneously or consecutively or a combination of can’t escape from it unless you vacate your house but even then there is a 90% chance that at least one of them will be on when you is the most long-running, the most avoidable obscenity in the modern suburban condition.

Keperra: I have a sick husband and son who is disabled.....surrounded by eight pools.....shift to each side of the house as the day progresses depending which pumps are near the kitchen causes great problems because it vibrates in the house.....I have thick towels and mats laid out along the floor and I walk on these.....I feel it helps me not feel the vibrations as much.....we are shifting in six months to get away from it all....we have given up on the Council, they are hopeless.

Return to Swimming-pool Filter-motor Noise Pollution: Domestic Noise Pollution--An Australian Experience

Top of Appendix A
Appendix B: Memorandum of Advice
Appendix C: Human Reactions to Low Levels of Intruding Noise
Appendix D: The “Solutions” Approach Versus the “Standards” Approach

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