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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald

Major structural problems to keep Hunter pool shut to swimmers

Damaged tiles on the floor of East Maitland's public swimming pool, which will stay shut for repairs. Picture Maitland City Council

A MAITLAND public pool "approaching the end of its expected service life" will stay shut as the swimming season begins after major structural problems were discovered earlier this year.

East Maitland Aquatic Centre will not reopen at the start of the 2022/2023 swimming season, Maitland City Council has confirmed, due to significant structural damage to the main pool.

Maitland City Council has reported that major issues were apparent at the start of the year, with tile bed lifting in January prompting engineering investigations throughout the first half of the year.

After months of wild weather that left parts of the city flooded, things are far from improved.

Engineering reports found structural failures were causing substantial water loss into the ground, with the tile bed 'tenting' throughout the Narang Street pool and various compliance defects.

Several repair options are being considered. A report, likely to be brought back to council this week, is expected to provide details regarding the scope of repair works, associated costs, and timelines with rectifying the problems.

Maitland City Council general manager David Evans said that this repair work aims to have the pool reopen in early 2023 to cater for the back end of the summer season and school swimming carnivals.

"The facility was opened way back in 1977 and is approaching the end of its expected service life of around 40 to 50 years,' Mr Evans said.

"It's been something of a perfect storm this year, with two major flooding events making conditions much worse than we'd expected.

"We know how important this is to so many in the community, and we'd like to especially thank the East Maitland Swim Club for their cooperation and understanding as we've worked through these issues," Mr Evans said.

Maitland City Council officers are currently developing an updated aquatics strategy.

The strategy will guide the future of Aquatic Centres across Maitland, including the future of East Maitland, and is designed to promote improved availability of these facilities to the entire community.

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