Tamworth Regional Council is confident the Manilla community will soon be able to dive in to the new swimming season.
While a firm opening date for Manilla Memorial Swimming Pool is not yet known, Tamworth Regional Council Manager Sports and Recreation, Paul Kelly, said the long awaited first swim of the season is definitely getting closer.
The start of the season has been unavoidably delayed at Manilla after a series of unexpected major works emerged.
“The initial delay to the season opening was due to some essential repairs to the 50m pool taking longer than expected but then a major issue came to light,” Mr Kelly said.
“Off season works to the value of $60,000 to the 50m pool including repairing broken pies, repainting the pool, reconstructing a section of the deep end wall and some minor works were delayed due to the limited availability of specialist contractors,” he said.
“While this was completed in early November once we filled the pool and started operating the water filtration equipment staff noticed a large volume of water loss.
“The drought meant we made it a priority to identify the source of the water loss, however this has taken longer than expected.
“The search involved considerable excavations on site which needed to be restored and fenced off for safety until the ground the lawn re-establishes.
“Then one night (8 November), a potential structural fault in the 50-year-old sand filter led to the filtration plant needing to be shut down until it was assessed.
“An engineering consultant, hydraulics specialist and even a specialist leak detection diver have ben engaged to assess the situation and come up with appropriate control to overcome any faults or leaks.”
Further investigation needs to continue this week to ensure that there is no waste of precious water occurring. Once that examination is completed, an opening date will be advertised.
Preparation of the pool and other facilities have continued while the essential works have occurred to minimise the delay to the opening. Council is considering the Pool Season Pass fee in light of the delayed opening date.
In addition to the 50m pool and filtration works, a wide range of improvements at a cost of more than $32,000 were carried out during the off-season including:
- Repainting the change rooms and amenities,
- Repairing wiring to light towers,
- Repairing leaking taps, showers and cisterns,
- Repair of expansion joints in the main pool,
- Servicing of all filtration and water circulation pumps,
- Installing new chemical storage safety bunds, and,
- Replacing roller shutters to the main entry and kiosk.
Mr Kelly said: “We can only apologise to Manilla residents. None of the latter repairs were foreseen and Council staff did everything possible to have the Manilla pool open as soon as we could.”
This year Council has approved that the former one pool season pass enables access to all operating swimming pools this season.
The water slide fee at the Barraba and Scully pools has been reduced from $7 to $3 per half hour session.
For details of open hours at pools around the region, see Council’s website.