What to do about $2.2 million worth of repairs the city’s swimming pools need will be a matter for the upcoming budget process, City Manager Tom Bonfield told City Council members Thursday.
Meanwhile, it does not appear very likely that the pool in East Durham’s Long Meadow Park can reopened for the upcoming summer.
“The jury’s still out on that issue,” said Roger Spears of the Szostak Design, the consultants assessing conditions at the city pools.
The Long Meadow pool was closed last summer, prompting complaints from area residents. Its main problem was an electrical hazard created by water leaking into its below-grade pump room.
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Several sources of the water, such as leaks in the pool itself, have been fixed, and it appeared that the main source was blockage in a stormwater drain that caused water to back up into the pump room. A video inspection showed otherwise.
“It turns out the pipe is not there,” Spears said. “It is either collapsed, it has corroded away – it’s disappeared.”
That means the pipe must be replaced. A survey for the job is under way, he said, “and we are very hopeful” the work will be done in time to see if it solves the leakage problem.
But Marilee Martin, senior project leader with the city General Services Department, said her confidence level is “not very high” that it will be done in time.
“We have bid it and get someone mobilized and out there to do the work. And then have to have time to see where we are with the pump room,” she said.
And if the short-term repairs don’t keep the water out, longer-term measures will be required – “and that will take us into the 2016 season,” Spears said.
Council members made no response. The city’s four other pools also need work, the most expensive being replacing dehumidifiers at the Campus Hills and Edison Johnson indoor pools.
The current systems, Spears said, are highly corroded due to leakage. At Campus Hills, he said, inadequate treatment leaves unpleasant levels of chlorine in the air, and the situation is similar at Edison Johnson.
Replacing the two dehumidifiers will cost about $880,000, according to the consultants’ estimates. All four pools also have other issues and code violations calling for repairs, raising the total to about $2.2 million – not counting Long Meadow.