Eureka pool shuts as council looks into more issues

CLOSED: A sign on the front door at the Eureka Aquatic Centre. Pictures: Lachlan Bence
CLOSED: A sign on the front door at the Eureka Aquatic Centre. Pictures: Lachlan Bence

The Eureka Aquatic Centre has been closed for up to four weeks as Ballarat City Council scrambles to fix more problems at the pool.

Council had guaranteed it would be open on November 4 after it was revealed a leak needed repairing in September.

Despite that deadline arriving on Saturday, the pool remains empty, with signs declaring it will be closed “until further notice” posted on the front door.

After fixing the initial leak, more water loss was discovered last week, with the problem area identified at the centre of the pool.

Ballarat City mayor Samantha McIntosh said new problems had been found while council was fixing that original leak.

“When they put water in it, the pressure of the water has exposed a different issue, which they are currently assessing to determine what the ramifications will be,” she said.

“It is a very old swimming pool and it is needing some other attention we weren’t expecting.

“It is one of those things you cannot predict.

“When a swimming pool gets old there are issues we have to deal with.”

DRY: The Eureka Aquatic Centre remained empty on Wednesday afternoon despite a planned November 4 opening.

DRY: The Eureka Aquatic Centre remained empty on Wednesday afternoon despite a planned November 4 opening.

Council has undertaken tests to determine the problem and how long it might take to fix.

The closure has also arrived at the same time as hot weather was predicted for Ballarat next week.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s website said the mercury would hit 27 degrees at the weekend and 30 degrees by Tuesday.

Some regular users of the pool were contacted about the delay to the start of the 2017-18 swimming season, however no notice was sent out to media, or put on council’s website.

The website still listed November 4 as the opening date on Wednesday afternoon.

Wendouree resident Ray Ferguson said he had not been given any warning about the pool’s closure.

”The pool had been filled up last week, before it was due to open, so I thought it was okay,” he said.

“I went up there on the weekend and it generally opens on the first weekend of November.

“They didn’t tell anyone, we weren’t informed and the notice on the door didn’t reveal anything.”

Cr McIntosh said there had been no point sending information out when council did not know the full details of the problem.

“We did make contact with the users we are familiar with,” she said.

“It has been freezing cold as well, as soon as we were aware, we let them know we are doing the works.”

Community development director Neville Ivey said council had not decided to close the pool until late on Friday.

“We were still working out what the extent of the water loss would be and if we could still open on Saturday,” he said.

“On Friday night it was revealed we couldn’t because we didn’t know the extent of the damage.

“In the month of November there is an average of five people per day that use that pool.”

They didn’t tell anyone, we weren’t informed and the notice on the door didn’t reveal anything

Wendouree resident Ray Ferguson

Council was forced to allocate $400,000 for repair works at a September general meeting.

Staff had been aware of a leak and a repair job was completed following the 2016-17 summer in February and March.

However continued monitoring then showed the pool was still losing water.

Councillors questioned staff about the huge cost for the fix at the September meeting.