THE great spring clean of the Tamworth regional public pools is underway but the water level is rising, although slightly slower than the temperature so far.
In Tamworth, the maintenance and the preparation for the new summer swim season includes cleaning the tiles, scrubbing the bottom and getting out the hoses.
Four garden hoses have been running full bore since Tuesday this week at the Tamworth city pool – and it will take until next Friday to put in the 1.5 million litres to fill it.
For John Swanston, the city pool supervisor for the past 25 years, it’s like clockwork. According to his boss, technical officer Gary Johnson, Mr Swanston knows every tile in the pool and cleans them with a toothbrush every year.
At West Tamworth, known colloquially as Scully Park, the pool there has been getting
the same treatment under Cameron McFarlane.
But at Scully, the spring clean has become something of a matter of domestic disruption. For the past few years, ducks have taken up residence in the off-season, claiming a bit of water-logged landscape.
This week Mr McFarlane had to clear a mother duck and her ducklings out – but not before he bore the brunt of an angry mum who took exception to his foray into the little pool – and pecked him on the head.
Tamworth Regional Council operates other pools at Barraba, Kootingal, Manilla and Nundle and the preparations for summer are also underway there too.
The pools cost about $1.6 million to run and return about $500,000 in entry fees.
According to Mr Johnson the last summer swim season was a “ripper”.
“We had 130,000 people walking through the turnstiles of our six centres,” he said.
“If the warm winter and the temperatures of spring so far are anything to go by we are expecting to build on last year’s.”
The 2013 summer saw Scully attract 55,000 while Tamworth City had 35,000 through the gates. Thirty season staff will be employed to help the six supervisors.
The Scully pool will open on September 23 and all other centres on October 8.