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Cape Town pools will be open everyday this festive season – but beware the load shedding grinch

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has announced that its public swimming pools will be open daily during the festive peak, however, load shedding disruptions are expected.

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It said it had secured enough chemicals to keep municipal pools open daily from December 23 until January 15, 2023.

The summer season continues until Easter and pools will be open, although operational times may vary.

The 16 community pools will be open from Monday to Sunday, from 10am until 5pm.

The pools that are open are Bellville, Bellville South, Bonteheuwel, Brown’s Farm, Delft, Goodwood, Hanover Park, Kensington, Khayelitsha, Lentegeur, Muizenberg, Parow North, Ruyterwacht, Trafalgar, Wesfleur (Atlantis) and Wynberg.

The City’s indoor swimming pools, Retreat, Blue Downs and Strand will be open from 10am until 5pm, while Sea Point and Long Street will be open from 7am until 7pm.

Due to structural, mechanical and electrical faults, eight swimming pools are temporarily closed and work continues at Athlone, Langa, Manenberg, Mnandi, Westridge, Parow Valley, Ravensmead and Newlands.

Once repairs have been completed the facilities will be opened to the public.

The City said two significant concerns were identified at Newlands Swimming Pool regarding the water circulation and chlorination system, which has caused delays in opening the facility.

“To date, testing of the chlorination system and water circulation is in process to ensure compliant PH levels.”

It said repairs and upgrades were on the cards for the chlorination system and plant room, notwithstanding the heritage significance of the plant room structure.

“The second priority relates to constrained water circulation between the scum channel and the sump. The connection is being re-established and tested, to avoid blockages in filtration,” said mayoral committee member for community services and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

Pools in Eastridge, Elsies River, Emthonjeni, Morningstar, Observatory and Vulindlela will not open for the 2022/23 season due to major repairs needed.

Van der Ross said facility management might have to deviate from planned opening times at facilities due to load shedding.

“Electricity is needed at a swimming pool to keep the plant room functional. It is the control centre for the circulation of water and distribution of chemicals, which maintain water quality standards.

“As we swim, water needs to be circulated and filtered for removal of debris such as grass, leaves, hair, and other large particles. Chemicals disinfect and purify swimming water, compromised by the dilution of sunscreen, oils, and products that wash off the body and fabrics when swimming,” she said.

Municipal pools are required to test water quality throughout the day and protocols are in place to maintain health and safety standards by controlling pool capacity, managing chemical levels and ensuring adequate water circulation, the City said.

If load shedding is implemented, the following:

If load shedding take place before opening pools may remain closed until electricity is restored and pools may open for a short period of time and close unexpectedly when water quality falls below standards.

If load shedding occurs during operational times:

Patrons have to exit the water when the water quality falls below acceptable standards.

Patrons may be allowed to stay inside the facility, avoiding water, provided recreational space is available.

Patrons already inside the facility will not incur additional costs during load shedding

Pools may close until further notice if extended load-shedding shutdowns cause mechanical and system failures in the plant room

Members of the public visiting the swimming pools should also note that no tickets will be sold or new entries allowed at the facilities during load shedding when systems are offline.

If a swimming pool is closed and patrons are asked to leave, a new ticket will need to be bought to re-enter.

“It has been a very trying time for our recreation and parks department as numerous challenges, including load shedding and the supply of chemicals, have thrown many plans into disarray.

“Unforeseen challenges, such as the ones experienced at swimming pools that were meant to be open by now, have compounded the situation.

“The City apologises for any inconvenience, but we have a duty to ensure that our recreational facilities are safe to use.

“While we have a plan to deal with the challenges, its success rests heavily on the co-operation and understanding of our patrons. I ask that everyone does their bit to ensure that their visits to our swimming pools and all other City recreational areas are an enjoyable and safe experience,” Van der Ross said.

robin.francke@inl.co.za

IOL

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