City Pools Preparing for Opening Day - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/25/05

City Pools Preparing for Opening Day

Unsafe chlorine levels, dirty pools and bad judgement. Those were the top complaints the city of Lubbock made about the private company "USA Pools," that managed city pools last summer. So, now the city of Lubbock is taking back control of all four pools and city crews are busy inspecting pools to keep your kids safe.

Weldon Maples, the city's assistant recreation and aquatics supervisor says, "It's going to boil down to customer service and going back to the way the city used to run pools two years ago."

That means double the lifeguard staff and a pool manager on site. The city was not happy with the lack of lifeguards at its pools last year so they're going to err on the side of caution this year. "We base our lifeguard ratio on number of people in the facility, not size of the facility," says Maples.

There's much more too it than that, and Maples has to make sure he can pass the city's health inspection. "We like to make sure people have pool rules posted. We have to make sure everyone knows where the emergency phone is. We like to see "no diving" signs and depth markings all the way around the pool," says Health Inspector Tyson Rowin.

One of the most important regulations health inspectors look for is not outside the pool...but at the very bottom of the pool. "We like to make sure pool drains are in good shape. It sucks a lot of water through at a pretty fast rate so if somebody gets too close, or it's not in good repair, they could get trapped at the bottom of the pool. For obvious reasons that's not a good thing to happen," says Rowin.

Of course, inspectors test to make sure chlorine and PH levels are just right, and that everything is pumping properly in the pump room. When they give the go ahead, it's all about having fun. Maples says, "Come out to the city pools. Have a good time out here. They're some of the safest facilities in the area."

All four city pools will open for the first time this year on Friday at 1pm. They will be open throughout the summer months Tuesday through Sunday from 1pm-6pm. Admission is $1.50 for kids17 and under and $2 for adults. The pools will be open on Memorial Day and Family Splash Passes are available for active swimmers. Call 775-2673 for more information.

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