Heat pump issues mean chillier swim


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West Otago Swimming Pool committee president Barry Frew tests the temperature of the Tapanui pool yesterday, following a recent breakdown of heating equipment. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISONBikini season may be on hold at a community pool complex, following the collapse of its water-heating system.

One of the water heat pumps at West Otago Swimming Pool in Tapanui failed last month, meaning water in the main swimming pool was running a few degrees cooler than usual, pool committee president Barry Frew said yesterday.

The pool complex completed an extensive, $900,000 refurbishment in 2021, making the additional cost of replacement unfortunate, but manageable, Mr Frew said.

We actually considered whether to replace the heat pump last year, but decided to hold off, so the decision has been made for us now.

Its 15 years old, which is about its life expectancy, so it was an anticipated cost. It just means some of our regular morning swimmers will find it a bit chillier than usual for the remainder of this season.

The new heat pump was expected to cost about $80,000, and would take about three months to arrive, meaning replacement would not occur before the end of the season in April, he said.

The pool typically ran at about 28-30degC, and now sat in the lower 20s, depending on ambient temperatures in the pool building.

We have about 25 ladies who swim regularly at 7am, and the pool is very well used by the wider community and its schools, with towards 2000 people using it.

Because its such an important facility, the committee has some cash reserves set aside which will fund about a third of the replacement cost, and weve already started going out to grant providers and local community groups for the balance.

This is a community that always steps up to support its own, so were quietly confident funding shouldnt be an issue.

A second, learners pool was unaffected by the breakdown and remained heated, Mr Frew said.

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