NO CLOSURE: Stanthorpe pool operators Michael and Gail Smail will open the doors in September .
NO CLOSURE: Stanthorpe pool operators Michael and Gail Smail will open the doors in September . Matthew Purcell

Pools to be opened despite water woes

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council has made the call to open Stanthorpe's public pool as normal this September.

With water conservation at the height of everyone's agenda and concerns, there were murmurings the pool may not open this season, but the council has put that issue to bed.

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

Mayor Tracy Dobie said council was committed to the pools' 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.”

A council spokesperson said it was 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.”