In the next few weeks the Washington Parks Department will decide if the city’s pool needs to be shut down early to repair a leak.
Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle said if the leak is bad enough, city staff may be forced to close the pool early to make repairs.
“If it’s something that gets worse, and we’re losing tons of water, then we have to make a decision if we have to shut the pool down,” Dunkle said.
That decision should come in the next two weeks, Dunkle said. Before making the decision Dunkle said two things need to be identified — the location of the leak and the amount of water being lost.
The first step is finding out the problem area.
“We don’t have an exact location — we know it’s coming from the big pool,” Dunkle said. “Other than that, we don’t have a specific location where it’s coming from.”
Dunkle said staff have identified the deeper end of the pool as the potential problem area.
“We’re assuming that’s where it’s from, but it might not be,” Dunkle said. “I’ve worked at other places where you assume it’s one place, and then, once you get in there, you find out it’s coming from somewhere else.”
To figure out where the leak is, Dunkle said there are several options. One option would run a camera through a pipe to look for a leak.
“There’s a possibility of using cameras up the pipe to try and see — we already tried that with some of our cameras, but they’re not long enough,” Dunkle said.
Other options would be to send divers down to check out the bottom of the pool or to fill the pool with colored dye. The dye would be placed in the pool and would show where the water was draining.
“We’re trying to isolate it,” he said.
Dunkle said the issue is either a crack in the steel or a damaged pipe. He said the most likely option is a crack in the stainless steel.
“If that’s the case, we can’t really do anything until after the season,” Dunkle said. “We’d have to shut down the pool and drain it, which doesn’t seem to be a viable option unless we’re losing great amounts of water.”
Dunkle said a crack can be fixed fairly easily. A damaged pipe would require some digging and breaking up of the pool to access the pipe underneath.
Right now the leak isn’t bad enough to close the pool immediately, but it is cause for concern.
“It’s not gushing, but it’s not a trickle,” Dunkle said. “It’s somewhere in between.”
Dunkle said the city’s water department has been working on compiling data to see just how much water the pool has been losing.
“Best case scenario is that it’s not that major of a deal and we wait until the end of the season,” Dunkle said. “We have just about a month to go.”