The Aldergrove Outdoor Pool has been reopened after the latest in a series of closures struck last Saturday.
â€œSaturday we were hoping to open Aldergrove, and we werenâ€™t able to do so,â€ said Langley Township parks director David Leavers.
The closure was the latest. Out of 49 days since outdoor Township pools were opened so far in 2014, Aldergrove had to be shut for all or part of 22 days.
The problem was murky water, caused by a paint job three years ago that is now decaying.
Because the water has become cloudy on many days and difficult to see through, lifeguards cannot see the bottom of the pool â€“ which is a serious safety concern. If the lifeguards canâ€™t see, the pool canâ€™t stay open.
Leavers noted that water quality has not generally been the issue as the poolâ€™s water chemistry has been maintained at appropriate levels during operating hours.
Similar clarity issues have also been experienced a few times this summer at the Fort Langley Outdoor Pool.
To deal with the problem as much as possible, on Saturday the pool was drained. Crews pressure washed the entire surface, and Township firefighters helped out by refilling the pool in under an hour.
â€œThey have a lot more capacity to refill the pool than we do with our two-inch hose,â€ said Leavers.
The pool reopened on the long weekend and has stayed open since then. Leavers said staff are hoping that the draining and cleaning can help keep the pool open for a longer stretch, possibly through all of August.
â€œWhen youâ€™re starting with a clean base, youâ€™re better able to refill,â€ said Leavers.
He noted that a degenerating epoxy paint was applied to the pools a few years ago. At the start of this season, the pools were washed and touched up with paint. Township staff have met with the painting contractor, who suggested that the poolâ€™s entire tank be sandblasted and repainted before next year.
Fort Langleyâ€™s outdoor public pool has had some similar problems, but less severe, and it has only been closed down for four days this summer.
The adjacent spray park at Philip Jackman Park has remained open throughout the summer months.
Those wanting to use the Aldergrove Outdoor Pool or the Fort Langley Outdoor Pool are encouraged to call recreation staff at 604-533-6170 ahead of time to ensure they are open.
The Al Anderson Outdoor Pool, located in the City of Langley, is not impacted by these water clarity conditions.
Plans are in place to build an indoor pool in downtown Aldergrove, but construction has not even started yet on the site.