NEW HAVEN — There’s both bad news and good news when it comes to the New Haven Municipal Swimming Pool.
The bad news is the pool was closed last week to be drained and cleaned. The good news is the pool will reopen with the swimming season being extended through Labor Day.
New Haven Mayor Greg Kaylor said the pool was completely drained Friday following concerns from residents. Water in the pool was turning black, and with no way to clean it, the council had two options: close the pool for the remainder of the year, or completely drain the pool, clean the bottom and sides, refill it, and extend the season. Members chose the latter.
Once the pool was drained, the teenage lifeguards, town workers, mayor, council member Roy Grimm, and a few others spent all day Saturday and Monday morning washing down walls and using a pressure washer to clean the sludge from the bottom. Once clean, the mayor said there are a few minor repairs to be made to the pool and one of the diving boards.
With the help of the fire department, Kaylor said the pool will be refilled from a nearby fire hydrant. It should be reopened this week, he added.
Due to the down time, the council agreed to extend the swim season. Normally, the pool closes just prior to the Mason County Fair. It will now be extended until Labor Day, but only on weekends once school begins. Kaylor said some evenings might be added as well.
Kaylor blamed the pool’s problems on its age and old, galvanized piping. The pipes allow manganese to build up, causing the water to have a black tint. He said he consulted with the health department, and while the manganese presents no health risks, the council felt cleaning it would be best.
The pool has seen tremendous increased activity this year, since free admission began. Some days, over 100 swimmers have come to the pool.
Residents, businesses, churches, and other organizations came together in the late spring with enough donations to not only keep the pool open, but to allow the free admission for everyone for the entire season. Chemicals for the season were donated by Jamie Roush. The latest donation was made by Pharmacist David Morgan, Kaylor said, who donated two new wooden picnic tables and 14 resin Adirondack chairs.
Recreation remains a high priority in the town of New Haven, with work also progressing on a basketball court near the pool. More details on the court will be announced once completed.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.