Each year the pools at West Shore Parks and Recreation get a couple weeks off from entertaining the public.
Those weeks aren’t spend with rest and relaxation though, full days are spent in the aquatic facility focusing on cleaning and repairing everything from the lights in the rafters to soaking the bottom of the hot tub in a chemical bath.
On top of the general maintenance duties during the pool closure, this year the pool is getting something new. When swimmers return to the pool Dec. 19 the water will be disinfected with an ultra violet system.
“The UV light takes the combined chloride and break it down,” said said Ron Deitrich, WSPR maintenance supervisor. He explained when the chorine in the pool mixes with organic materials in the water the chlorine concentrates. “It’s that combination that creates red eye (in swimmers.)”
The pool has also upgraded its chloromatic system which will help save money and makes the maintenance on the chloricnation process easier, Dietrich said.
Chlorine is added to the water by using a saline chilorinate system. The pool is full of salt water and when the water passes through chlorination cell electricity creates chlorine in the water.
“The UV kills (the chlorine) to levels that are barely even noticeable,” Deitrich said. “I think we are going to have the best water we’ve ever had.”
The pools filters and pumps are also undergoing maintenance.
“The salt water is much harder on our pumps (than fresh water),” Dietrich said.
This year the main pool hasn’t been drained and its 802,000 litres of water will remain in the pool for another year.
“(We can) leave the water in the pool for four to five years,” Deitrich said. While that may be the case most years, the staff do drain all of the pools to keep up with repairs.
The adventure pool and the hot tub have both been drained. The maintenance staff are busing patching and cleaning the pool floors and sides. They fix cracks and remove stains and grind off all rust.
“We fight a lot of corrosion, in this humidity it is so bad,” Dietrich said.
Areas with jets in the pools often have more wear and tear issues. It’s important for staff to maintain the marcite floors and walls of the pools to ensure water doesn’t make it to the cement underneath.
“The hot tub takes so much more abuse, the power of the jets is so much greater,” Dietrich said.
“We go through every drain and where ever else dirt will collect or rust may occur,” Dietrich said.
The entire pool deck is being regrouted, as it is every year. Regrouting the floor can add some grip to the floor. Old cracked or loose tiles are also being replaced.
The tiles in the steam room are also being regrouted and some of the wood in the sauna is being replaced as well.
The change rooms are also being cleaned top to bottom.
“There have been so many times when the patrons come back in and say they pool looks the same. They say “What did you do?’” Dietrich said.
The Juan de Fuca pool closed Dec. 5 and will reopen on Dec. 19.