Nhill pool opens two weeks behind schedule

MECHANICAL issues have forced Nhill Aquatic Centre to open two weeks later than planned.

Pools across Hindmarsh shire were due to open on November 21, however staff identified mechanical problems with the Nhill pool’s pumps during testing in the lead-up to opening.

Hindmarsh mayor Ron Ismay said council contracted an electrician to test the pool pump motors at all shire pools prior to the summer season, and all motors tested okay.

“The pools are left full of water during the winter to prevent damage,” he said.

“The pools are emptied just prior to the season so they can be pressure-washed to remove the build-up of grime on the tiles and grouting, and to undertake other maintenance such as paint touch-ups or replacing loose or broken tiles.

“They are then refilled and treated with chemical ready for the swimming season.

“It is at this stage the pool pumps are switched on, and the problem was identified that not enough water was being circulated.”

Council had initially hoped to have the issue fixed by the start of the month, but work took longer than expected.

“New foot valves have been installed and new pumps from Queensland have also been installed,” Cr Ismay said.

Residents were concerned solar pool covers purchased with community money in 2013-14 were not used this year.

The covers help minimise heat loss from evaporation.

Cr Ismay said placing the covers on the pool each night was a two-person job due to their size.

He said council hoped to apply for a grant to buy motors to make the cover operation automatic, but was waiting for a suitable grant to become available.

He said motors cost about $10,000.

Cr Ismay thanked people for their patience while council worked through the mechanical issues.

Nhill Aquatic Centre will offer seasonal tickets at a discounted rate for the shortened pool season.

The pool is open from 3.30pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 2pm to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.