Outdoor pools in Aldergrove and Fort Langley have been shut down repeatedly this summer, because of water clarity problems.
As of July 31, the Aldergrove outdoor pool has been closed 22 times out of 49 days for part or all of the day, while the Fort Langley outdoor pool has been closed four times in 42 days, a report by Township recreation, culture and parks director David Leavers said.
The report said the cloudy water doesn’t pose a health problem, but if lifeguards can’t see the bottom of the pool, it has to close.
“The water chemistry at both pools has been maintained at those levels required by health authorities,” the Leavers report to the Township mayor and council said.
The cloudiness is being caused by paint and overloaded filters, the report said.
It is not clear why the two-year-old paint is creating cloudy water, the report said.
“This is the same paint that we have used in previous years and we have been unable to determine why the problem existed this year.”
A scrub and polish helped a little at the Aldergrove pool, where the problem is worst, but the whole pool will have to be sandblasted and repainted next year, the report said.
As well, both pools have older filtering systems that are sometimes overwhelmed by “excessive amounts of sunscreen and other undissolved solids in the pool water,” usually during the busiest times.
The closures usually happen late in the day, the report said.
A permanent fix will have to wait until the summer is over, because it would involve closing the pools for three to four weeks, the report estimates.
Staff are planning to carry out the necessary work before the next outdoor pool season in 2015.
There are plans to replace the Aldergrove outdoor pool at 32 Avenue and 271 Street, which was built in 1962.
Last year, Township council approved a plan that would replace the 20-metre long pool in Aldergrove Park with a six-lane indoor facility, part of a yet-to-be built community centre at the former Aldergrove Elementary school site at Fraser Highway and 270 Street.
The project is to be at least partly funded through selling municipal land.
If sales go as planned, construction on the five-acre site could begin as soon as 2015.
If they don’t, the start will have to be pushed back at least another year.
No problems have been reported at the outdoor Al Anderson Pool, which is operated by the City of Langley. It is a very popular place for swimmers each summer.
The Aldergrove pool closure is more problematic because Aldergrove Lake no longer exists. It was a popular swimming destination for people in the area, until it closed several years ago by Metro Vancouver Parks.