Hand-sized tear forces closure of pool
The main pool at Kapiti’s $21 million aquatic centre, which was dogged by cost blow outs and delays, now has a hole in its floor.
Kapiti’s aquatic centre has been forced to close its main pool in February for up to three weeks after a wheel jammed on the pool’s movable floor, tearing a hole in the hi-tech skin beneath.
Kapiti Coast District Council built the complex with the help of community fundraising. It opened three years ago after a string of problems and controversies.
On Tuesday, parks and recreation manager Alison Law said a runner the size of a shopping trolley wheel on the movable floor had seized. The moveable floor floats like a pontoon inside the main pool. The jammed wheel left a hand-sized tear in the skin on the pool floor, allowing water through onto a concrete pad, which was not designed to withstand long-term exposure to chlorinated water.
Law said she did not know how much it would cost to patch the tear. The council was awaiting further information from the pool maker. The main 25m by 25m pool would close in February for repairs, but the rest of the complex, including a smaller pool, would remain open.
While the concrete under the pool was exposed, the water was not leaking out, she said.
The hole, and seized wheel, were found in a routine check of the pool, she said. The repairs would provide additional reinforcement for the area in contact with the wheels.
Former New Zealand Olympic swimmer and head coach of the Raumati Raptors, Jon Winter, said the repairs could not have come at a worse time. He said while he had no evidence, he thought a disability ramp was a potential cause of the tear.
Winter said February was probably the worst period for a closure, which would especially affect the club’s best swimmers.
‘‘We have probably 30 and 40 swimmers who have qualified for national events from February onwards. That’s who it’s going to effect.’’
The club could swim at another pool in Waikanae, but Winter said there was no way of fitting the club’s 80 swimmers there without causing major disruption to the pool or the club.
Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan said the retro-fitted disability ramp was installed only after approval from the makers of the movable floor.
The main pool at Kapiti’s aquatic centre will close for three weeks in February.