Watch: Pulling the plug at QEII pools

Getting 1.5 million litres of water out of a swimming pool isn’t as easy as simply pulling out the plug.

But that hasn't phased the staff and contractors at Taiora: QEII Recreation and Sports Centre who are preparing to reopen the pools on Sunday after they were closed on January 17 to undertake the delicate balancing act required to maintain the pools.

Christchurch City Council aquatics manager Rowan Foley said they empty one pool first at the centre on Travis Rd in New Brighton, do the work on it, then pump the water from the neighbouring pools back into the empty pool and start the process all over again.

"Over the course of the two-week close down we only need to dispose of one pool’s worth of water, and that saves us not only on water. but also on chemicals and heating costs as well.

Contractor Matthieu Lucas hand cleans the many stainless-steel components surrounding the pool....
Contractor Matthieu Lucas hand cleans the many stainless-steel components surrounding the pool. Photo: John Cosgrove
The carefully managed maintenance is usually done every three to four year. It can take take a couple of days to complete the work on each pool at the $38.6 million complex. This includes maintenance of the circulation pumps, filters, heating systems and pool tanks.

A lot of the work has to be done by hand such as cleaning the many stainless-steel components in the pools.

Foley said there is never a good time to close the pools for maintenance but the council had planned to do the work at QEII over the summer holiday period as it caused the least disturbance to Swimsmart lessons and planned group swimming activities. The council operates five other outdoor pools in Christchurch that people can use during the closure.

- Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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