Ask TPR Vol. 5
October 5, 2018
This is the fifth post in an ongoing series called ‘Ask TPR’ where frequently asked questions from residents are answered publicly. If you have a question about Town operations please use the form at the bottom of the page.
Why was the pool closed all of September?
We close every year in September for preventative maintenance to help ensure the building itself and the mechanical systems run as smoothly as possible throughout the rest of the year. This also helps reduce the cost to the town because we can have things like pumps reconditioned instead of replaced outright. We schedule contractors to come in on weekdays during shutdown rather than on weekend, which reduces emergency calls in the evening or on weekends which is when big things tend to go wrong.
Why is it done at this time of year?
We chose September because it is the least utilized time of year, it’s also in line with a number of other communities in Alberta who don’t have outdoor pools. Additionally, schools in the region are one of our largest user groups but they aren’t ready to start swimming lessons right as school starts up. Typically during the start of the school year, our visitor numbers drop anyway due to school and community activities are starting up. Finally, the weather factors into the decision to pick September, some of the jobs we do are outside and we require decent temperatures above zero, preferably with no snow.
Why does the closure have to be so long?
The pool is closed for the entire month because it takes two days to drain the pool, half a day to drain the hot tub. Then both pool basins need to be scrubbed with an acid cleaner to remove a year’s worth of buildup that discolours the tiles over time, that takes one or two days usually. We spend one day taking out all 32 filter elements from the main pool and hot tub tanks then over the next few days we rinse and soak each one in a degreaser solution. After, we complete a number of little repairs and cleaning throughout the rest of the building while the tile crew works away cleaning. It takes another two more days to fill the pool; heating the water and balancing the chemicals takes five to six days and then we must have the health inspector come in and approve for the pool to reopen. We also have to send water samples to the Environmental Public Health lab in Edmonton and get clear results back, that usually takes three to four days. Finally, before we can open we take another full day to scrub and disinfect the decks, change room floors, lobby and first aid room floors.
What kind of work was done?
For 2018 shutdown Peace Regional Pool Staff, Facility Maintenance, and Contractors completed the following jobs:
- The main pool basin was re-grouted. This year was the entire floor and walls of the deep end and about two-thirds of the shallow end. When the grout gets too thin water can start to seep through and wreck the substrate under the tiles. Tiling and curing took 10 days this year
- Rinsed the pool basin to remove all grout dust.
- Both filter pumps were changed out for reconditioned ones, after one year of use impellers get worn out and chipped and don’t run as effectively anymore.
- All three pool pilots and the VFD had all dust and residual chemicals cleaned out of them with air.
- Changed 4 valves that were broken or worn out.
- Removed all drain covers, inlet covers and skimmer basket parts, scrubbed each one and the skimmer pot as well with acid cleaner.
- All wooden change room benches were replaced with composite benches and added two new benches including a fixed bench in the boot room.
- Staff painted over graffiti on the outside of the building and painted some select walls inside.
- Weeds were removed from around the building.
- Painted pillars on deck with rubber cement to prevent rust.
- Washed all change room walls.
- Shower heads were removed and descaled.
- Cleaned out all floor drains, some drains were steam cleaned.
- Removed and scrubbed all deck grates, putting them back in requires a rubber hammer and some patience.
- Replaced the janitor room sink basin.
- Inventory of all program materials and ordered any missing supplies.
- The slide was inspected and repaired.
- Repaired cracks in main drain fiberglass liner and replaced both hydrostatic pressure relief valves.
- Windows washed inside and out.
- All tables and chairs were scrubbed and disinfected.
- Toilets and urinals were inspected for damage and repaired as needed.
- The boiler system was flushed
If you have questions or ideas for a future Ask TPR edition please submit them via the form below.