Council was told in 1996 it would cost around $400,000 to stop water loss at Mittagong Pool but opted to do nothing about it.
A report of that year stated the pool loses 20,000 litres a day and it warned of “downstream consequences”.
It said the pool was losing much more than that amount in the early ‘90s but action was taken to control the amount.
It’s been confirmed, via another report to Council tonight, that the pool is losing 24,000 litres a day – or one percent of its volume – because of leaks.
It’s understood governmental environment agencies have not conducted regular water sampling of Nattai Creek – on which the pool is built – but were involved in creek monitoring when vandals emptied the pool four years ago.
Mittagong Pool manager Glenn Wright said it’s not unusual for public pools to leak, it just so happens that this particular pool is located on a creek.
“Before 1960, it was a waterhole,” Mr Wright said.
He stressed the pool “has not had its day” yet, but its viability depends upon how much money is spent in fixing the problem.
He said the pool has been leaking since he came to Mittagong in 1986.
Council’s general manager David McGowan conceded the Shire’s four pools are all getting old.
Acknowledging the Shire’s pool management conundrum he said Council must continue to work towards a pool management strategy involving a covered facility/leisure centre.
“The problem at Mittagong has always been a topic in debate everytime we meet about our pools,” he said.
When asked about whether Council was intending to fix the leaks, or much would be involved, Mr McGowan couldn’t be specific.
He said there’s no immediate solution.
Councillor Larry Whipper, the most environmentally active of the Shire’s elected representatives, yesterday said he was also aware of the problem.
But he said regardless of what water testing in Nattai Creek might reveal, he said the issue points to the need for a “modern year round facility”.
“We were prepared to make the hard decisions (in closing Bowral this season) but the community hasn’t responded with us,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.