Concrete damage forces Selwyn pool to close

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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Mid Canterbury Selwyn

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Selwyn's biggest public swimming pool was forced to close for the last week of the school holidays after damage to the concrete in the lane pool was discovered.

The Selwyn District Council has launched an investigation after more than 80 tiles in the main pool at its near-new Selwyn Aquatic Centre had to be replaced.

The Rolleston centre opened less than eight months ago and cost $14.7 million to build.

Council aquatic facilities manager Kathy Moore said minor tile damage was noticed about two weeks ago but, upon inspection, it was "not the tiles that had failed, it was the concrete underneath them".

"There was a little bit of concrete slab cracking and we're not sure why it's happened."

The pool closed last Sunday and would reopen this morning, as most of the region's pupils go back to school.

Moore said the pool was drained and patches of tiles in different parts of the pool were replaced, she said.

The closure had not affected access to the hydrotherapy, leisure, learn-to-swim and spa pools.

Independent engineers were assessing the damage and would report back to the council within the next week, she said.

"It's certainly been very disappointing but unfortunately this thing can just happen . . . we're not sure whether it's down to an earthquake and the ground shifting or not."

She said locals had been "very accepting" of the closure despite the inconvenience.

It was the second time the pool had been emptied since it opened last June.

In September, the pool was closed after nine people contracted the diarrhoea-causing bug known as cryptosporidium.

Selwyn District Councillor Mark Alexander yesterday said the closure was "disappointing" forcing most lap swimmers to go to other aquatic centres in Christchurch.

However, others had come up with "pretty innovative" ways to exercise, he said. "I usually go aqua-jogging so I've been going in really early and walking around the lazy river . . ." .

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- The Press

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