Parks and Recreation employees pour grout in the seam of the main pool at Echo Aquatic Centre on Tuesday afternoon.

Plethora of problems delay Echo pool opening

Electrical and water leakage problems are delaying the re-opening of the pool at Echo Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

Electrical and water leakage problems are delaying the re-opening of the pool at Echo Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

On Sept. 14, the building’s main underground electrical system failed.

Staff installed a temporary overhead service, Parks and Recreation manager Scott Kenny said.

The failed system was originally installed in 1967 when the pool opened, Kenny said. A new underground system will be installed before the pool opens again, he added.

The cause of the failure hasn’t been determined and the issue is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, crews are still at work applying a cement-based grout to the base of the pool after failure of the caulking three weeks ago.

Caulking is replaced every four years and was due for replacement this year, Kenny said. The problem arose because the previous brand of caulking material has been discontinued and a substitute was used.

“It didn’t bind well and when we poured the water in the weight pushed through and the leak started,” Kenny said. “The water meter showed that we used 37 cubic metres of water in a day so we knew something was wrong.”

The new grout is more solid than the previous one, which was flexible. “It’s a more permanent solution, or as permanent as we can get,” Kenny said.

The work is expected to take another week and the pool should open at month’s end, Kenny said. The cost of both the pool base and electrical repairs are being absorbed through the centre’s operating budget, Kenny added.

The delay is impacting programs such as lane swim, everyone welcome swim and aquafit programs, program manager Barb Wilkins said.

“We’ve had a lot of people come by and are disappointed that we aren’t open yet,” Wilkins said.

Staff orientation including lifeguard training has also been impacted but will be scheduled when the facility re-opens, she said.

Swimming lessons aren’t scheduled to take place until October, therefore won’t be impacted, Wilkins added.

On another front, new lockers have been installed in the men’s and women’s change rooms.

The lockers are smaller than the previous ones and they operate similar to a shopping cart.

“You put your quarter in, take your key, put your key back in and you get your quarter back,” Kenny said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

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