Last week, a crew with the company that installed the liner, Aquatic Renovation Systems, arrived to fix problem areas where the PVC liner had bubbled.
The crew fixed 30 spots, but left town over the weekend before telling the city that the work was finished, City Administrator Zane Logan told the City Council Monday night.
The leisure pool and continuous river stood empty for a few days while city officials tried to get in touch with the company, also known as RenoSys, of Indianapolis, Ind.
They reached the company’s home office on Tuesday and learned that the work actually was finished, said Gary Butts, city public services manager.
The city started filling the leisure pool vessel Wednesday afternoon.
Butts said the pool is being filled in stages “so we can be sure that all areas are sealed. Once the vessel is full, provided no problems with the liner are noted, we will begin heating and using the main pumps. After that, we will start the rest of the pumps in phases to be sure that all of them are sealed off from the liner properly and no problems develop.”
If all goes as planned, the leisure pool should be up and running by Sunday, Butts said.
The center’s eight-lane deep pool has remained open to swimmers.
The liner is under warranty, so the city is not responsible for any repair costs. The city awarded a $39,775 bid to RenoSys for the project in February.
“I will remind you that we haven’t paid them a penny yet,” Logan told councilmen Monday.
Butts said it’s still undetermined what caused the initial bubbling problem.
“It could have been a small seam leak or a seal issue somewhere. They checked out all components as best they could,” he said. “Filling the pool in stages, as well as starting the pumps in phases, will give us an opportunity to detect any potential problems more effectively.”
Originally, city leaders suspected air was trapped beneath the PVC liner. But when the main bubble area was drained, water was released. That bubble was located in the lowest point of the leisure pool.
The RenoSys crew removed some water from the bubble, and then city crews removed an additional 30 gallons or so this week after the crew had left.
Logan said the water drained from the bubble was leftover from when the pool was drained and was not groundwater.
Logan said the issue may be that felt material underneath the liner is wet and saturated and water is pooling at the lowest point, but said that’s “strictly my guess.”
The miscommunication with the RenoSys crew about whether the work was finished cost the city up to two days of operation for the leisure pool and continuous river, he said. However, while the pool areas were empty, city crews were able to make sure all residual water was drained.
“We utilized the lag time between our communications breakdown to remove water from underneath the liner, Butts said.
Logan said the temporary closure and liner problems are frustrating for city staff and the community.
“Trust me, I don’t like to see it empty either,” he said Monday.
City Aquatics Director Carrie Parmer said she and the aquatic center staff “are incredibly disappointed about the timing of this.” With the last day of school on Wednesday, she said they hoped kids would be splashing in the leisure pool. The start of summer is one of the busiest times of the year for the aquatic center.
This is the second time this spring that the leisure pool and continuous river have closed temporarily. When the liner was installed, the leisure pool and river closed for three weeks. Part of that closure also was for annual maintenance at the facility.
Parmer said everyone is hopeful this will be the last unscheduled closure this year.
“I think it should be noted that Carrie and her crew will be staying with the pool as long as it takes to get the pool up and running as quickly as possible,” Butts said.