Winnipeg plans to close Norwood pool due to groundwater seepage

Winnipeg plans to replace the Norwood Outdoor Pool with other recreation amenities after the community services department determined it would cost too much to maintain the 56-year-old aquatic facility.

New spray pad, picnic tables planned for site of 56-year-old pool

Winnipeg plans to close the Norwood Outdoor Pool because groundwater is seeping in, contaminating the water. (Laura Glowacki/CBC)

Winnipeg plans to replace the Norwood Outdoor Pool with other recreation amenities after the community services department determined it would cost too much to maintain the 56-year-old aquatic facility.

On Sept. 11, city council's protection and community services committee will consider a recommendation to decommission the old outdoor pool and wading pool and build a new spray pad, play structure, picnic tables and a beach volleyball court.

The work would cost $1.3 million, according to the report, which blames the pool's high maintenance costs on rising groundwater levels in Norwood .​

"Ground water levels in the area have accelerated deterioration of the pool tank and have resulted in regular ground water infiltration into the pool, which compromises water quality and clarity," recreation asset manager Ken McKim writes in the report to council, pegging the rise in water levels at a third of a metre or more a year.

"As a result, the public service has struggled to obtain the annual provincial operating permits and has resorted to using leaf blowers to dry the water seepage areas sufficiently to apply a coat of paint to meet Manitoba Public Health Act requirements."

The province has warned the city it might not license the pool if the city doesn't come up with a permanent solution to the seepage problem.

According to the report it would cost $500,000 up front just to maintain the pool, and $4 million to $6 million to replace it. There are four other outdoor pools in the St. Boniface ward alone — and only six in the rest of Winnipeg, the report states.

A residents' group called Save Norwood Pool lobbied the city this summer to come to a different conclusion.


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