Muizenberg residents can now look forward to a cooling summer as their public swimming pool now has its own water source.The pool is one of 17 public swimming pools that will be open this summer season, with Muizenberg now boasting its own alternative fresh water source. JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, says: “More than 1.5 million people use the City’s public swimming pools annually and, with water conservation still a priority, the Recreation and Parks Department has put plans in place to open 17 of the 35 municipal swimming pools during the peak summer season. In addition, the department has cemented its commitment to conserving water and has started implementing plans to reduce the dependency on potable water to maintain the swimming pools,” Smith says. With this in mind, the department is continually looking at innovative ways of conserving water while still providing quality amenities to help residents cool off during the summer heat. “Initially, the plan was to draw saltwater as an alternative water source for the Muizenberg pool, but drilling for a well-point resulted in finding good quality fresh water instead, which will also be used for irrigation,” explains Smith.An additional well-point was drilled to serve the purpose of a water collection point which operates independently and the water will be used to top up other operational swimming pools. The cost of drilling the well-point was just over R400 000 and the scope of work included drilling several well-points and connecting them to the water tanks and then to the plant. Additional work that must still be done includes cutting into the perimeter fence to install an access gate, while a custom fitting will be installed for the standpipe which connects to the department’s water trucks.Muizenberg has five seasonal lifeguards and one seasonal senior lifeguard on duty. In addition, new equipment at the pool includes a spinal board with head blocks and harness, a shade cover for lifeguards and four wrap-around lifesaving devices. The pool reopened on Saturday 1 December and will close again on Saturday 2 February. “All our operational swimming pools have been fitted with two 10 000F plastic tanks that are used to backwash and filter water that is circulated back into the swimming pool for re-use. By doing this, the City is saving a substantial amount of water that would have been lost,” says Smith.Careful consideration went into selecting which facilities to open this summer. Some of the criteria included the accessibility of the facilities and their location in relation to transport routes, but also to ensure equal representation across the four areas of the city.The Recreation and Parks Department works closely with Law Enforcement to ensure the safety of all swimming pool users, while lifeguards will not only be on duty at the pools but also at the Camps Bay, Maiden’s Cove, Monwabisi, Sparks Bay, Harmony Park, Strandfontein and St James tidal pools. Bathers and visitors to the city’s swimming pools are reminded of the following: . Obey pool rules and lifeguard instructions . Load-shedding impacts on the operations and water quality and, should water quality be compromised, patrons may be asked to leave the water . Swimming in the proper bathing attire assists in maintaining the water quality for longer . Showers at swimming pools and beaches are still off limits to preserve water“We need our visitors to help us keep water usage to a minimum. Showers at all public amenities and ablutions will be switched off and waterless hand sanitisers will be provided at most public washrooms,” says Smith.