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Pool remains open and warm, despite leak

June 19, 2013

With swimming season in full gear kids and adults are flocking to the Broken Bow pool, despite a confirmed leak in the less than 2-year-old structure.
City Administrator David Varley says the city first became aware of the leak when they noticed more water spilling into the final drainage system than normal. Since discovering the leak, the city has been maintaining a close eye on the situation and regularly monitoring the volume of water loss.
City Parks Superinten-dent Dan Anderson says his department has a good idea where the leak is coming from. However, rather than lose out on a good portion of the season by closing the pool for repair, the city has opted to keep it open and continue to pump water in to keep the pool full.
“We felt that to be the more expedient option for the patrons of Broken Bow,” said Anderson.
Varley says the pool is currently losing an estimated 5,000 gallons of water per day. While that may sound like an astronomical amount, City Pool Manager Jenna Smith says compared to the amount of water the pool holds, it really isn’t.
“The pool holds 362,000 gallons of water. So this leak is really pretty minor. It’s kind of like having a leaky kitchen sink at home,” Smith says.
Varley says the drainage system is working properly and doing what is supposed to do, even though the volume of water spilling in to it is much more than it is designed to handle on a regular basis. He says the volume of loss has remained pretty steady, and if they saw that volume get higher and higher they would close down to repair the leak.
“The water isn’t bubbling up through the ground or anything like that. We shouldn’t have any sink-holes or anything to worry about,” Varley assures.
It is believed the leak is coming from the pipes that run below the pool or around one of the drains. The plan is to carry the pool through the season, and as soon as it closes for the summer Carrothers Construc-tion will come back in and fix it. With this being only the second season of the new pool, it is of course still under warranty.
Varley says the city has been concerned with the water temperatures at the pool with fresh water having to be pumped in every day. However, Smith says the pool’s heaters have been keeping up better than expected, and the water temperature has remained at a steady 80 degrees each day.
“We have had to close down because of thunderstorms, but not because the water has been too cold,” says Smith. “In fact, we have had to shut the heaters off because the water was too warm.”
Smith says she has had one or two parents express concerns to her about a possible hole in the pool or something of that nature, but she assures parents that the pool is nice and warm and perfectly safe.
“If there was any reason to be concerned about anything like that, we would shut the pool down,” says Varley.
The city is aware of the many rumors that have been circulating regarding the severity of the leak, and Smith says the situation “has been kind of blown out of proportion.”
She says there has been no decrease in attendance at the pool that she has noticed. On really hot days the pool will serve 200 or 300 people.
While the city is certainly not happy that a leak has occurred this soon, they also understand that these kinds of things can happen.
“As long as it stays at a constant level we will just kind of limp through this season and bring the guys in to get it fixed as soon as we shut down,” Varley says.
So grab your suit and come on in - the water is fine!

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