Aquatic centre set to make a splash this weekend

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The South Hedland Aquatic Centre will finally open its doors this Saturday after more than a year of being closed.

The soft opening is planned a week ahead of the official family fun day opening, held for Australia Day on Friday, January 26.

Multiple closures and equipment failures dogged the facility during 2016 and it was suddenly closed in September 2016 after a water quality failure in the pool’s filters.

Mayor Camilo Blanco announced the opening on Spirit Radio.

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“Everyone will see we’re actually opening the doors, (however) it won’t be a fancy opening like I’ve heard on Facebook,” he said.

“There was a lot of issues with the pool, and there could also be more to come that we’re unaware of because we haven’t had the population go in there yet but I’m hoping everything is fine, we’ve fixed a lot of issues in there.”

According to the Town of Port Hedland, over the past 12 months the Town has replaced filters, pumps and piping, conducted water testing, reinstalled an improved aqua tower and additional chemical sensors as well as other technical and system improvements.

Despite more than 12 months of work, however, residents will not see the return of the BHP Billiton Latitube Wave Rider.

Dismantled at the beginning of December, Mr Blanco said several problems had been identified from a pool audit with the wave rider.

”The wave rider was originally a prototype, there have been ongoing maintenance issues with the system, it requires quite a bit of modification works that will cost a considerable amount of money to fix,” he said.

“The aqua tower filtration system was not installed correctly which meant the water going to the aqua tower was not filtered, obviously adding to our filtration and non-compliance issues.

“The tanks holding the water supply for the aqua tower were located directly under the wave rider, so (it) had to be removed to fix the filtration issues of the aqua tower.”

Mr Blanco added the wave rider used over half the allocated power supply for the aquatic centre and required three staff to safely operate.

“The costs of running the wave rider is excessive and unrealistic,” he said.

“It will remain at the depot until we work out what to do with it.”

For more about the soft opening, pick up the North West Telegraph next Wednesday.

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