Years of use taking toll on Douglas County pools
Douglas County Pools under repair; future plans being made

The YMCA and UCC pools continue to cause inconveniences to swimmers as repairs are underway in both facilities. Maintenance has been ongoing for more than two years, and there are no signs of the work ceasing in the near future.

The YMCA aquatics floor consists of the north pool and south pool, one sauna, one steam room, one hot tub, and five separate locker rooms. During the past six months, each section of the aquatics floor has been repaired or improved in some fashion.

The most recent repairs have included the replacement of heater electronics in the north pool, pluming repairs on the system installation pumps, installation of tempering valves in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, replacement of filter pumps and heater sensors in the south pool, various electric work, installation of chlorine generators, installation of an automatic lift chair, re-grouting of the hot tub, installation of one new light in the south pool and re-grouting of the north and south pools using a more permanent type of grout.

“We also installed anti-entrapment drain covers all around the pool area in order to be in agreement with the Virginia Graeme Baker Act of 2007,” said Colleen Dennis, YMCA Aquatics Director. The Virginia Graeme Baker Act was established after a 7-year-old girl died while trapped in a hot tub filtration system in 2002. The act ensures that anti-entrapment covers are put on pool drains to prevent future deaths or injuries.

Blake McInvale, YMCA employee and UCC student, has been involved with some of the repairs on the pool area for the past several months. He has been working alongside property manager Lauren Mannon to help with needed repairs, including the recent re-grouting of the hot tub, which occurred one month ago. “We also recently installed Natural Resource Protection systems in the steam room, and about two years ago we installed new pool filtration that included sand filters, which is much more efficient than the boiler, because it is all electric,” McInvale said.

According to Dennis and McInvale, future areas for repair include the sauna and ventilation system. “We have ordered a new door for the sauna which should arrive in about two weeks, and in March we are planning on redoing the entire sauna room, which means new benches and different designs,” McInvale said.

“We plan to install new ventilation fans and make other adjustments to improve the ventilation in the pool area so that it is not so foggy and humid in there. We just got approved last week to begin improvements, and so now we are just waiting for the final bits to come together,” Dennis said.

As repairs throughout both facilities continue in the coming months, pool users are becoming more aware of the constant inconveniences accompying the work being done. The hot tub was closed for days during its re-grouting in Jan, sauna users are currently dealing with a missing door, the steam room has been problematic when it did not heat properly, swimmers using the girls’ locker room had to deal with shower heads not turning off, and all swimmers as well as lifeguards are dealing with the thick and foggy air quality due to poor ventilation. “Repairs in the pool area are ongoing,” Dennis said, “There is a lot of repair going on right now and has been for a long time, and there is always room for further improvement.”

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.