James Spelrem re-grouts the large pool at the Aquaplex Sept. 10 during the facility’s annual maintenance. The pool is expected to be closed until Sept. 22.

James Spelrem re-grouts the large pool at the Aquaplex Sept. 10 during the facility’s annual maintenance. The pool is expected to be closed until Sept. 22.

Aquaplex staff busy with annual maintenance

The pools at the Ponoka Aquaplex are almost unrecognizable with the lack of water during the facility’s annual maintenance.

The pools at the Ponoka Aquaplex are almost unrecognizable with the lack of water during the facility’s annual maintenance.

From Sept. 2 to 22, the pool is closed to allow re-grouting of the main pool, painting and the replacement of aging lockers, explained Jackie Schultz, pool operator for the Town of Ponoka.

She says both saltwater pools are connected and had to be drained to provide much needed grouting work on the main pool. To ensure proper drying of the materials, the town hired a local contractor.

Curing takes at least 72-hours before water can be added to the pool. Filling the pool also takes time; up to 27 hours to put 630,203 litres of water. While filling the pools, Schultz says staff add a special salt box to the water.

Heating the water is also important and Schultz said it takes 20 minutes to heat the water by one degree. When they first fill the pools, the tap water is approximately 15 degrees C or colder. Ideally the water should be at about 20 degrees C, said Schultz.

Another aspect of the annual maintenance gives pool staff experience on how to maintain the pumps and how cleaning works in the lockers and floor surface. “They’ve got a new appreciation,” said Schultz.

A new boiler is being installed to replace the aging one. Schultz says issues started in May

and they were able to temporarily fix the problem until maintenance began.

The new boiler cost $12,000.