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Council to minimise water impact of emptying and refilling pools ahead of spring opening

21 August 2019

The outdoor Council pools in Stanthorpe, Killarney and Allora will be open again for public enjoyment in October, however necessary annual maintenance will require the pools be emptied and refilled after the winter closure.

With Southern Downs residents being asked to reduce water usage to 100L per person per day from 1 September 2019, the water emptied from the pools will be utilised for Council’s maintenance and roadworks, and the pools then refilled with treated raw and bore water to minimise water wastage.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie, said the pools were an asset to their local communities, and Council was committed to their ongoing maintenance and reducing the water impact of the facilities being emptied and refilled.

“Council believes that the region’s swimming pools provide immense community and social benefits, especially with the expected hot, dry summer months ahead,” she said.

“Council is fully aware of the need to preserve the dwindling water supplies, however we believe it is not in the best interest of the community for the pools to remain closed over the spring and summer period to preserve water.

“The Council pools need to be emptied and cleaned before refilling in the weeks leading up to the re-opening because of algae build-up and duck faeces on the pools’ walls and bottoms.

“The pools will not be refilled with treated reticulated water that is supplied to urban ratepayers.

“Once cleaned, the Killarney and Stanthorpe pools will be filled with raw water from the Killarney water reservoirs and the Allora pool will be filled from bore water at Allora, and the water for all will be heavily treated and filtered to ensure they are safe to swim in.

A Council spokesperson said it is necessary for water to remain in the pools during the off-season to maintain structural stability as the water acts as a stabiliser to weigh down each pool. Likewise, draining or emptying pools of these sizes is not a long term option as the lack of water can create structural problems such as cracking and damaging surrounding paving or timber work.

In-ground concrete pools similar in size to Council’s have had the entire structure pushed out of the ground when emptied during winter months.

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