Specialist contractors have drawn up detailed recommendations for repairs to the 50 metre pool at Wavertree Aquatics Centre in Liverpool.
The facility has been shut since April following an electrical fault in a high level light fitting which exploded and showered the pool with lots of small shards of glass. The light fittings have been replaced with new longer-lasting LED lights.
The glass entered the underside of the moveable floor which meant it needed to be completely drained so the pool tank could be thoroughly cleaned.
Unexpectedly, it led to a majority of the floor and wall tiles lifting off the concrete – and investigative work has been taking place for the last few months to discover why this happened. This included the use of specialist x-ray equipment and the removal of rendering and tiles.
This work has taken longer than expected due to the cramped conditions under the moveable floor and the subsequent discovery of several areas of defective concrete once the pool render had been removed.
Due to the extent of the remedial works, it has also taken time to source the correct type of tile and other associated pool products that will match as near as possible to the remaining pool tiles.
Structural engineers have now provided plans to repair the tank and work get underway shortly to repair it, after which it will be refilled.
As a result, the reopening of the pool has now been put back until the beginning of February 2020 and the total cost of the repairs is put at around £475,000.
The 20 metre pool is open as normal and aqua fit and aqua running clubs are operating as usual, together with most Swim Academy activity.
Elite squads have been accommodated at alternative Lifestyles centres and had a reduction on their direct debits, while other members who have the Aquatics Centre as their home club have had their membership frozen.
Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We absolutely appreciate and understand the frustration of swimmers due to the prolonged closure of the 50 metre pool at the Aquatics Centre.
“We have encountered a number of unprecedented difficulties relating to defects from the construction of the pool over a decade ago. This has meant we have had to carry out detailed and complex investigative work to uncover the extent of the problem.
“I hope people will understand that we have taken the time and care to look properly at the issue and work out the best way to carry out a repair. We don’t want a situation where we have to take the pool out of service again.
“Despite the fact we have real financial challenges, we have found almost half a million pounds to carry out this work because we know how popular the Aquatics Centre is.
“We will keep people informed of progress and if there is any change to the opening date we will let them know.”
• Meanwhile, the large pool at Park Road Lifestyles in Dingle will reopen the week commencing 11 November following the completion of £60,000 of work to replace the filters and carry out urgent repairs on the tanks.