Several pools in local neighborhoods and recreational clubs remained closed for repairs and inspections through Memorial Day, the typical start to swim season.
Some electrical companies have seen an increase in business within the past few months because homeowners associations, clubs and residents want to ensure their pools are safe after a teenage lifeguard was electrocuted and drowned at a Wake County pool last year.
Wake County inspects more than 1,000 pools in the county before they can open for the season, but the inspections do not include electric equipment.
Lakemont Swim & Tennis Club near North Hills in Raleigh opened May 19 but closed five days later because of issues with the pool’s sanitation system and an electrical panel in the pump room. The club’s concession stand, refrigerators and freezer lost power.
Club leaders hoped repairs would be finished within a day. But after meeting with electricians and the pool management company, they realized the repairs required a city permit, said board president Kevin LeCount. The group also had to coordinate with Duke Energy to shut off the power during repairs.
Lakemont had to cancel a potluck meal and dessert contest planned for Memorial Day, but LeCount said the group has received only positive feedback about the delay.
“We’d have rather been open for Memorial Day, but we didn’t want a Band-Aid fix, we wanted to do it the right way,” LeCount said. “We value safety and cleanliness over everything else.”
The pool at Walnut Creek Apartments off of Gorman Street in Raleigh remained closed through Memorial Day because of a problem with the pump motor.
The Oxxford Hunt pool on Fallsworth Drive in Cary was scheduled to open May 13 but is still undergoing repairs to electrical wiring and anchor ladders.
N.C. State University Club in Raleigh delayed opening a new twisting slide because of construction and electrical work, said club manager Al Weaver. Leaders hope to open the slide later this week. About 950 families use the club’s facilities.
The repairs took more time because electricians and pool management companies have been inundated with requests from other pools and clubs, Weaver said.
“They’ve been saturated with business from other pools,” he said. “This is definitely different from prior years. There’s been an uptick. Pools are trying to make sure everything’s bonded and protected.”
Rich Levert, owner of Raleigh-based ARC Electric, said the company has seen an uptick in residential business, with people having their home pools inspected and repaired. Residential pools often require far more work than commercial pools, Levert said, adding that workers had to rip out the entire electrical system at a pool at a house in Cary.
“It’s often way worse than community pools because it’s more likely that people have tried to repair it themselves,” Levert said. “It can be pretty bad.”
Rachel Rosoff, a 17-year-old senior at Enloe High School, died at the Heritage Point subdivision pool in northern Wake County on Sept. 3. She worked as a lifeguard at the pool.
The pool water was electrified after a pump motor stopped working properly and a corroded wire prevented the flow of electricity that would have tripped the circuit breaker, according to investigators.
Madison Iszler: 919-839-4952; @madisoniszler