I’m sure we’ve all experienced this – It goes unnoticed when it goes well, and is horrendously noticeable when it doesn’t go well.  The same applies for every situation.

As you can imagine, sports stadiums and arenas are very tricky venues to clean. DPM Care have likened the task to “cleaning up after a party attended by thousands.” Like any party, there’s food stains to contend with, floors to clean and prepare for play, and changing rooms to wash down. You can only imagine the amount of litter that will be around from the crowd. The state of the grounds is reflective of the team, so it’s important that they are always of a high standard. In fact, Newcastle United fans have recently aired their disappointment over the apparently unclean state of St James’ Park. If you’re going to see your favourite team play, you want a nice environment! With photos circling Twitter of dirty walls, unclean toilets, and damp marks, it’s clear that the presentation of the home ground is very important not only for the sport, but the fans too. It’s a big task to be sure, but an important one as well and it’ something that must be kept up with.

But when mishaps happen, the results can be quite unusual! Join us as we take a look at a selection of cleaning and maintenance mistakes that have happened at sports events and arena brought by Fulcare, supplier of wholesale cleaning products.

A splash of green: cleaning Rio de Janeiro’s swimming pool

Back in 2016, the pools at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics caused quite a stir. Not one, but two swimming pools turned emerald green. For a while, there were a lot of theories running rampant in looking for the cause of the water’s strange hue. Was it algae? Heat? Dirt? Reflecting something? Or was it something else?

Surprisingly, the water was deemed still safe to use, even with complaints from the water polo players about itchy eyes. You’d think that the itchy eyes would alert staff to a problem even if the colour hadn’t. Later, event organisers cited the incorrect use of hydrogen peroxide as the cause of the pool’s swampy tones. Hydrogen peroxide is used to clean swimming pools, but it also neutralises chlorine. This mistake can lead to algae appearing in the pool. It’s definitely a mishap when cleaning something makes it worse and it’s something that should be avoided at all costs.

Not everyone agrees that hydrogen peroxide was to blame, as others speculated that copper sulphate caused not only the green coloured water, but the unpleasant smell. Either way, it wasn’t good news for the swimmers’ eyes.

Always read the label: maintaining a golf course

While we are talking about mistakes..

Back in 2008, a groundsman in Sussex managed to single-handedly kill off all the grassy fairways at Haywards Heath Golf Club. Y’know, the most important part of a golf course, the grass.. Oops! The Telegraph reported on the mishap, stating that 11 of the holes were destroyed on the course during the incident.

How did this terrible mistake happen? Well, when tidying up fairways, it’s common for groundsmen to use a light weed-killer to keep the short grass in top condition. But here, the groundsmen used Gallup 360 instead, which is an industrial-strength herbicide.Obviously it had devastating effects on the grass.

When sweeping-lines align: cleaning a clay court

You should always be aware of your surroundings, in and out of your work environment.

It seems that unfortunately, the groundsmen at the French Open did not know this all-important pearl of wisdom. At the start of 2018, three groundsmen were photographed as they cleaned the clay court. The clay ground of the tennis court needs to be swept in order to keep it level. It also helps to prevent any clay building up around the fences. This is a really important job!

So, while the groundsmen were doing a great job, sadly, they were also creating quite funny image in the clay. The unfortunate positioning of the three as they swept in grand arcs over the clay caused the resulting sweep-marks to take on the image of something a little phallic. Hilarious as this was, it definitely wasn’t appropriate! Although they claim it was accidental, you never know. The mark didn’t last long, and the unintentional work of art was removed before the games began.

Thinking a little too far outside the box: maintaining a wet pitch

It’s always so important to check your work. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, you should always check! But, as a result of not putting the tarp down properly, staff at Citizens Bank Park needed a quick fix to dry out the field enough for play.

The initial attempt saw heaters deployed. After that failed, the situation took the next, tentative step up — flamethrowers. Yes, groundsmen were photographed tending to the damp pitch with flamethrowers, much to the amusement of Twitter. Although this seems ridiculous, it made for some good social media coverage!

The ground was too wet to catch on fire, but it didn’t do much to dry it out either.

What lessons have been learnt here? Firstly, make sure you know how chemicals will react when combined this could be a deadly scenario if you mix the wrong ones. Secondly, always, always read the label on products. Thirdly, keep an eye on what is going on around you. And lastly…if you need to resort to a flamethrower to try to clean or maintain anything, it’s a lost cause and you should probably give up.


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