The Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre pool will be closed for repairs in January after leaks were found in the pool lining.
The Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre pool will be closed for repairs in January after leaks were found in the pool lining. Cathy Adams

Leaky summer start with GSAC pool to close for repairs

LEAKS in the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre pool lining will see the pool closed for almost a month during the busy summer school holidays while repairs take place.

It marks the third closure in as many years due to leaks and issues with air quality.

Acting centre manager Yonika Mantel said the closure was unavoidable as the pool would need to be drained, repaired and refilled after a fault was found with the seals.

Materials will be sourced from Italy to replace the lining, which will be installed at no cost to the council.

"Our sincerest apologies go out to all our members and visitors - this is the worst possible timing for something like this to happen, but it must be repaired as soon as possible and it's not something we can postpone," Ms Mantel said.

"Anyone with pool memberships and the general public can visit the Lismore Memorial Baths during this time."

The pool was closed for several weeks in June last year when poor air quality saw eight staff and one person hospitalised after complaints of skin and respiratory irritations.

In April 2013, about 50 people were evacuated from the centre when a break in a chlorine line caused a spill of 2000 litres of the toxic chemical.

This time around, the GSAC pool will be closed from January 1-25.

GSAC maintenance officer Simon Speidel said he suspected there may be a leak after noticing the volume of water and chemicals being used had increased.

He commissioned divers to enter the pool to inspect the PVC membrane and balance tank (which holds water overflow until it goes through filtration) only to discover several leaks within the lining and the balance tank itself.

Ms Mantel said she was glad the repair costs would not be a burden on ratepayers - the company that constructed the pool will pay the bill.

"But the reality is we will lose substantial business over the summer holidays, which will affect Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre's bottom line," she said.

"More importantly, we are devastated that this will inconvenience so many local families who use our facility. Unfortunately we are faced with no other option than to close the pool."

All Holiday Swim Intensives will take place on the same dates and times as advertised, at the Lismore Memorial Baths, which are also heated.

GSAC's gym SWITCH and the Kid Zone will operate as normal with all group fitness classes as programmed.

Aqua classes will be held at the Lismore Memorial Baths. People can phone 6625 5370 in 2016 for class times.



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