Truman tackles leaky pool

TRUMAN – It wasn’t long into summer before Monte Rohman knew something was amiss at the Truman Community Pool.

The water bill for the pool showed it was losing water, and a lot of it.

Through the summer, the pool lost almost 17,000 gallons per day from the 225,000-gallon capacity. That is about half a million gallons per month.

“That is a lot of water,” Rohman said.

He said the city expects the pool to completely replace its water twice per month, due to evaporation, splashing, and water soaking into suits and towels. But the pool was refilling itself almost four times per month.

In addition, the city had increased natural gas costs to heat the pool as it refilled with cold water, and additional chemical expenses.

All totaled, the water loss cost the city about $2,000 per month.

To find the source of the leaks, the city would need to inspect the pool, a difficult task at the busy site.

With school beginning and the pool closing for the season, the City Council approved hiring a company to find the leaks.

And find them they did.

Rohman said that in 1995 two new drains were installed at the bottom of the 12-foot-deep section. During installation, the pool’s floor was cut in two, and seams were created around the drains. Nearly 20 years later, those seams are leaking.

In addition, the pool’s surge tank – it accommodates water displacement when people get into the pool and fills the pool back up when people get out – is leaking, directing surged water to a drain instead of back into the pool.

Smaller leaks also were found.

Rohman said the city will begin repairs this fall, but major repairs to the pool’s bottom will have to wait until spring, when the pool will be drained for cleaning.

The City Council, which approved a preliminary 2014 budget Tuesday night, has accounted for the repairs. They are estimated to cost about $18,000.

The Truman community pool was built in the late 1960s. A campground is located nearby and there are plans for a mini-golf course as well.