The re-opening of one of Stonehaven’s star tourist attractions has been delayed due to problems with water quality.
The town’s popular Open Air Swimming Pool had been set to open for the summer this Saturday following major refurbishment, but pre-season water tests indicated a problem with water quality, meaning the pool has been drained and cleaned as a precaution.
The team of volunteers who make up the Friends of the Pool say they are working round the clock alongside Aberdeenshire Council to get the facility opened as soon as possible but chairman Mike Robins admitted it is a “big disappointment”.
The art-deco pool, which opened in 1934, attracts up to 40,000 visitors each season and recently underwent renovations costing £42,000 to fit new, more fuel-efficient boilers.
The pool will be refilled from the sea as soon as weather conditions allow, but the filling - which can only be done at high tide, - water treatment and reheating process is complex and lengthy, and is expected to take several days.
The opening should be postponed to longer than 7 to 10 days, subject to further water tests.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Sports and Leisure Manager, Tim Stephen, said: “Each year, ahead of the new season for the pool, we carry out a number of tests to ensure that the water quality is of the highest standard.
“As part of this year’s testing routine we had concerns over the water quality, and rather than risk public safety we have decided to drain the pool and refill it to minimise the risk of poor water quality for bathers.
“We apologise for any inconvenience but would assure customers that this is being done to ensure the highest levels of water quality and ensure people’s safety.”
Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Pool chairman Mike Robins said: “We realise it’s a big disappointment to have to delay the pool opening, but we must ensure that users can have absolute faith in pool water quality and enjoy their experience in a safe environment.
“Our volunteers, together with council officers, will be working very hard over the next few days and nights to open the pool as soon as possible.”
The indoor pool at Stonehaven Community Centre remains open for the meantime.
Aberdeenshire Council announced last month that it was closing the town’s indoor pool for the duration of the summer holidays (July 4 - August 16), in a bid to save £80,000 from the pool budget.
It means the outdoor pool will be the town’s only public swimming facility for that period, raising questions over opening times and the accommodation of certain groups and classes who use the indoor pool.