Maintenance complete, pool opens on Monday

The Wanaka Aquatic Centre reopens on Monday after a 10-day closure for its first deep clean and maintenance period in three years, costing ratepayers $122,191.

No major problems emerged during the shutdown.

More than 350,000 people have used the $13.9million three-pool complex since it opened in July 2018, and the increase in visitor numbers has pleased Queenstown Lakes District Council sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick.

There were 117,015 Wanaka pool visitors in the year ending June 2019, dropping to 94,054 visitors in the June 2020 year because of the Covid-19 lockdown, before racing away to 146,693 in June 2021 year.

"This is a scheduled shutdown, with the emphasis on draining the pools to allow detailed inspection and cleaning, and preventive maintenance," Mr Battrick said.

"Since Covid-19 there's been a real boom in the use of aquatics facilities across the country, which is great to see.

"Our local population continues to grow, which is another reason why attendance at Wanaka Recreation Centre is up," he said.

The budget of $122,191 covered cleaning, plant and equipment maintenance, building and grounds maintenance, and operations and maintenance, he said.

The number of code browns over the three year period was unavailable but 13 such incidents occurred in the year ending June 2021.

Mr Battrick said it was hard to calculate the individual cost of cleaning the pool every time a code brown occurred.

"The total cost for a code brown would need to include things like lost revenue and staff time in addition to chemicals required to treat the incident.

"It's hard to give an exact figure for the cost of one individual event, because it depends on how long the pool is closed, which pool is affected, how busy the affected pool is and what activities are taking place at the time.

"For example, if a code brown occurs during after-school swimming lessons, this obviously has more of an impact.

"The cost of chemicals might be around $100 but a total cost, including the aforementioned factors, could be closer to $1000," he said.

 - Marjorie Cook

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