Swimming Pool

Splash forward: Revamped R28m Newlands pool re-opens but load shedding impacts uptimes

Newlands swimming pool.  PHOTO: Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2022, accessed 2023.

Newlands swimming pool. PHOTO: Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2022, accessed 2023.

  • The Newlands pool in Cape Town is due to reopen on Friday but load shedding could affect operating hours.
  • The pool does not have a generator.
  • It cost the city R28 million to have it remodeled. No additional costs outside of repairs and maintenance created when the pool was closed due to a chlorine leak in October.

Cape Town’s popular Newlands pool is expected to reopen on Friday, much to the delight of residents.

The pool was closed for five years for renovations and reopened in March last year after a R28 million refurbishment. However, in October it was shut down due to a suspected chlorine gas leak.

In a statement, the City of Cape Town said the pool would open on Friday as expected, but that load shedding could affect operating hours. The opening will then take place after the end of the scheduled load shedding on Friday.

ALSO READ | The Cape Town public swimming pool reopens after a R28m refurbishment

Patricia van der Ross, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for community services and health, said two significant concerns were identified regarding the water circulation and the chlorination system.

“Extensive testing was performed on the chlorination system to ensure that specified water quality standards and pH levels are met and maintained. The connection between the scum channel and the sump was also made and tested to avoid clogging the infiltration,” Van der Ross said.

There were no additional costs to fix the deficiencies in the water circuit and chlorination system, other than repairs and maintenance, Van der Ross said.

Van der Ross added:

The city can confirm that the specified water quality standards and pH values ​​have been achieved and can be met. The Newlands swimming pool may then open this Friday subject to load shedding and limited weekend hours of operation.

Operating hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After that, until the end of the season in April, the operating hours will be limited to Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

According to Newlands District Councilor Mikhail Manuel, the new hours of operation were introduced because the pool does not have a generator.

“It is important to note that load shedding directly affects the pelvis. The pool is not supported by a generator. Therefore, any load shedding and particularly heavy load shedding will affect the water quality and safety of use of the pools,” Manuel said.

READ | Cape Town residents stone employees after being denied access to ‘crystal clear’ pool

He said residents were particularly frustrated that the pool would not be open to the public during the Christmas period. That was because thorough work needed to be done to get the plant up and running again this week, Manuel added.

Manuel said:

I appreciate that there is significant frustration and that the [regular] Update [do] do not fulfill what is desired. I had several conversations with the officials [the] Newlands pool on daily progress. Testing and manual chlorine dosing continued throughout the week and all systems were working properly for the pool to be safe to open on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Manenberg-Bad remains closed as the city is still evaluating the condition of the underground circulation lines to determine the cause of the rust build-up in the pool.

“We repeatedly flush the system to remove it [the] Accumulation of rust particles as far as possible. After that, the department will monitor and test whether the water quality can be restored. The duration and type of repairs required can only be determined based on the results of the tests,” said Van der Ross.

She said that an in-depth assessment of infrastructure repairs across the facility will also be conducted as part of the repair and maintenance program.

“The costs cannot be determined at this time,” she added.

The city announced that the reopening of the Manenberg pool for the rest of the current season could only be decided after the results of the internal evaluations.

Earlier this month scores of Manenberg residents illegally entered the closed pool and stoned staff who asked them to leave. At the time, the city said it was working closely with law enforcement to secure the pool.

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