Swimming pool keeps stride

2017-02-14 06:02
Retreat indoor swimming pool’s hours will not be changed in a citywide plan to save water.                                                        PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Retreat indoor swimming pool’s hours will not be changed in a citywide plan to save water. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Retreat residents and those from the surrounding suburbs who use the newly revamped public indoor swimming pool don’t have to worry about their pool being closed to save water.

The pool, which was opened in December last year, will not be affected by the City of Cape Town’s move to reduce swimming pool hours in a bid to save water.

The decision to cut swimming hours came into effect yesterday and will see most of the City’s 35 swimming pools close during the week as part of the City’s water-saving measures.

“Due to the current Level 3B water restrictions implemented, the City is changing the operating times at all public swimming pools for the remainder of the summer season,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security and social services.

Most of the public swimming pools will be closed on weekdays. They will only be open on Friday afternoons from 14:00 to 17:00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 17:00.

The new rule will be in effect until the end of March when the pools close for winter.

The Retreat pool and five other pools will not be affected by this change: Sea Point, Mnandi Resort pool and the three indoor pools in Long Street, Blue Downs and Strand.

“According to previous swimming pool user logs, attendance during week days averaged at around 75 people per day during February and March last year and around 150 people per day on weekends. This shows that the swimming pools are used double as much over weekends, compared with weekdays. With the low usage levels during the week, it is impractical to keep these pools open while facing the current water crisis in Cape Town,” says Smith.

At the beginning of this week, dam levels had dropped to 37.5%. Due to the fact that these swimming pools need to be backwashed every day in order to maintain optimum water quality levels, it is estimated that more than 1680kF of water per day will be saved just by eliminating the daily backwash of these pools.

“With pools only staying open on weekends, only one backwash per week will be needed. Showers at pools will be switched off and splashing in pools will also be monitored and restricted. Only normal bathing costumes may be worn when swimming at public swimming pools as significant water can be wasted just by swimming in casual clothing.

“The situation is not ideal, but I trust the public can appreciate the severity of the situation and will support this measure, over and above their individual water-saving efforts. We need to look at the bigger picture and, frankly, a short-term sacrifice like this is a small price to pay if we consider the impact it will have on our longer-term water supply and needs,” says Smith.

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