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Leaks see Gisborne District Council abandon reopening of 50 metre pool

Leaks see Gisborne District Council abandon reopening of 50 metre pool
June 2, 2020

With Coronavirus restrictions eased, Gisborne District Council is today reopening part of the Gisborne Olympic Pool Complex.

However, with the facility’s ageing 50 metre pool suffering ongoing leakage problems, the North Island local authority is only reopening the facility’s 33 metre outdoor pool.

Commenting on the decision, Gisborne District Council Director of Liveable Communities, Andrew White advised “the decision to open has not been an easy one. Our 50m pool has a leak that we will be unable to fix until summer, so we’ll be diverting water we usually use to heat the 50m pool to reopen the 33m outdoor pool over winter.

"It’s been a frustrating period, especially if you’ve been wanting to swim laps."

With the 50 metre pool leaked significantly during lock down, White explained that the Council had decided to keep it closed.

This week, as a temporary measure to get swimmers back in the water, Council staff are reconfiguring the heat exchange to warm the outdoor pool so it is swimmable.

White added “after discussions with Comet Swimming Club we believe this is the best alternative available.

"It’s not the most ideal situation, but the swimmers are keen to get back into training and we’re looking forward to making a pool available. This will give the squads, lap swimmers and recreational swimmers access to a pool over winter."

Staff and local contractors have worked on a temporary fix for the leaks in the 50 metre pool since March, but the work has had only limited success.

White added “we’re dealing with an old pool, requiring a proper reline, but we are making the best of the situation in the interim.

"Our current plan is to reline the 50m pool in October when the temperature is warmer, but this is also dependent on whether we are successful with our shortlisted Crown Infrastructure Partner’s application for the Olympic Pool Complex redevelopment."

Under Alert Level 2 in-pool numbers will be limited to a maximum of 50.

White concluded “spectators are not encouraged, and to enable contact tracing and physical distancing, swimmers will need to book a lane as they enter the complex.

"Or better still, call and book in advance."

Image of the Gisborne Olympic Pool Complex courtesy of Gisborne District Council.

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