Chapel Hill News

Homestead pool leak continues to confound Chapel Hill, repair crews

A leak at the Homestead Aquatics Center off Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, NC, has closed the pool and left multiple companies and town staff mystified about the cause since mid-January. The center will remain closed indefinitely until the leak is found, said Jim Orr, Parks and Recreation director.
A leak at the Homestead Aquatics Center off Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, NC, has closed the pool and left multiple companies and town staff mystified about the cause since mid-January. The center will remain closed indefinitely until the leak is found, said Jim Orr, Parks and Recreation director. Staff photo

Local swimmers have been waiting to get back in the pool since leaks forced the Homestead Aquatic Center to close in mid-January.

The problem became obvious when the center’s water usage spiked, Parks and Recreation Director Jim Orr said.

The town has hired three companies to test the decade-old pool, he said. One area was identified as having leaks and patched, but after filling up the pool, they returned the next day to find the water level had dropped 4 to 6 inches overnight, he said.

“We just let it continue to see actually where it would stop, and it kept on dropping and dropping,” he said.

It’s not clear at this point from where the water is leaking or where it’s going, Orr said. Another company was expected to investigate the problem this week. The work, not including the lost water, has cost the town about $20,000, he said.

“It may or may not identify a leak, and if it doesn’t, then we’ve exhausted all possibilities, and we’re just going to have to start from square one and open things up and start re-checking areas,” he said.

The delay has been frustrating for town staff and for the people who use the pool, Orr said. Staff is using this time to clean, paint and do regular maintenance, so they won’t have to close the center for that later this year, he said.

“I hope people will continue to be patient. We’ve got multiple leak-detection companies and also construction companies, pool companies ... a plumbing company come in, all putting our heads together and just going down a list,” Orr said.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

Where to swim

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation pool pass holders can use these swimming pools while Homestead Aquatic Center is closed. Swimmers will be asked to show their pool pass or fob and fill out a guest form.

▪ Chapel Hill Community Center Pool, 120 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill. 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

▪ Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, 980 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill. Schedules at chcymca.org.

▪ Bowman Gray Memorial Pool, 300 South Road, Chapel Hill. Schedules at campusrec.unc.edu/facilities/hours

▪ Orange County Sportsplex, 101 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough. Schedules at oc-sportsplex.com

▪ Hollow Rock Racquet and Swim Club, 5100 Erwin Road, Durham. 10 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

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