City officials aren’t happy about the discovery of leaks in one of its busiest public pools. A review of water usage at its pools revealed that leaks have caused the Civic Center pool to lose 6,000 gallons of water per day. That’s around 500 thousand gallons of water since the problem was discovered in mid-August.
The state is in drought emergency, but the city was also reviewing its water use because it is transitioning from well water to surface water with an increase in water rates for residents.
“Our staff has been looking at the pool usage in particular for the past couple of months and that’s when these problems surfaced,” said Assistant Davis City Manager Kelly Stachowicz.
The staff is asking the city council to approve repairs scheduled in mid-November during routine maintenance of the pool when water is normally drained. Several hundred thousand more gallons of water could be lost until then.
The pool is home to one of the largest masters swim programs in the country and closing the pool sooner would pose a hardship. The 600 member Davis Masters Aquatic Team uses it for workouts 11 hours a day. Add that to the youth swim program and the pool is in use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during weekdays.
Swim coach Stu Kahn says it’s a vital daily activity for members who have pacemakers and hip and limb replacements.
“We have people recovering from serious health problems, we have people with dementia, and the only thing that makes them feel good everyday is swimming,” said Khan.
The pool was built in the 1940’s and has had several renovations since then.
“There may be other issues in play as well. It’s hard to say what may have been done with the pool many, many years ago or decades ago,” said Stachowicz.
While replacing the faulty piping around the pool would require several hundred thousand dollars and a long term closure of the pool, city officials hope they can address the majority of the leakage problems with a $50,000 fix that will take three weeks. It’s normally closed for two weeks for routine maintenance.
The long term fix is a new pool for the Masters Swim Program which has been discussed. For now the city plans to assess the effectiveness of immediate repairs.