For those of you that needed a warm water fix, we are back in business as our annual shutdown of the aquatic centre was amazingly smooth. The shutdown is a necessary part of operating a fairly complex set of pools and, for the sake of a couple weeks’ inconvenience to our guests, allows us to do our due diligence on keeping our community’s pools operating in tip-top shape. You could probably equate that to if you ran your car 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a year, somewhere in there you have to do an oil change and check a few parts for wear and tear. As an option, we did create a number of new dryland programs specifically aimed at our water babies for the two-week period, which had a pretty good turnout, as well as hopefully introducing some new forms of fitness to the group.
As an aside, and due to circumstances, we never got the chance to do any fitness during the shutdown and since we had a three-day-a-week regime previous, guess what? You start to cease up, develop new aches and pains, and strain stuff you haven’t strained for a while. I guess it’s true what a friend mentioned to me the other day — once you get to a certain age, you start to decay so, like our pool, you better have a preventative maintenance program in place to hold that process off as long as possible.
As far as the shutdown went, and while inspecting one of the change rooms, I was standing in front of the mirrors reflecting on how few issues we had with our two-year-old pool. Basically, some of the items we dealt with after draining and inspecting all three tanks, pool decks and change rooms, was a handful of tiled areas that needed regrouting (a total of maybe half an ice cream pail of grout), some woodwork on the benches that needed recoating, a handful of tile replacements and the extraction of some hairy objects from a couple drains. Top it all off with a total top-down scrubbing, pressure wash and disinfection, as well as a cleaning and inspection of all mechanical systems, and we feel pretty good about the shape of our community pool. Not by accident, this can be attributed to quality design, workmanship and materials, as well as a pretty regimented cleaning and inspection philosophy throughout the year.
From the administrative angle, as part of the process, all parties keep notes of what went well and what didn’t, and a debriefing meeting will be held in a couple weeks to better streamline the process. This is our first “real” scheduled shutdown at the proper time of year and while it is unlikely the two-week process could be shortened because of the limitations of drain, clean, refill and heating times, there are always ways to improve sequencing and operations. Now we move forward with our rejuvenated pools and fall programming — and maybe I can work out some of those aches and pains again.
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.