Wollongong’s Continental Pools are undergoing a makeover that’ll have them beach ready for a predicted busy summer.
The pools are closed until Saturday 7 December for a range of works including painting of the pool shells, repairs to, and painting of, the concrete concourse, and maintenance to the pool pump and value.
In addition, there are repairs being carried out to the brickwork on the building’s northern wall and some broken shower tiles are being repaired or replaced.
The work is being completed at the beginning of summer as consistent daytime temperatures of around 20 degrees are needed for the pool paint to dry effectively. Daytime low tides mean the pools can be completely emptied and dry for painting.
At the same time, low tides are contributing to an ongoing challenge at Port Kembla Pools.
A combination of calm sea conditions and low tides are increasing the beach’s high sand load and, as the sand isn’t being moved off the beach, it’s blocking the intake pipes for the saltwater pools. We’ve had to close the Port Kembla pools as we’re not able to draw and circulate fresh seawater.
We are looking into various options to clear sand from where the pipes open into the sea including the use of high-pressure through the pipes to move the sand from the entrance point, and investigating the use of heavy machinery to move sand away from the pool inlet. Prior to moving the sand we need approval from NSW Department of Primary Industries and we’re completing a Review of Environmental Factors to see if it’s possible to carry out this work. The pool will be closed until conditions improve.
The high level of sand on Port Kembla Beach is also why the accessible beach matting launched this season moved from Port Kembla to Austinmer Beach where it’s less susceptible to sand movement. We are looking at improvements to the beach’s access ramp so that the matting may return to the beach in the future