THERE'S still no concrete date on when the Manilla pool will open for swimmers after a series of unexpected hold-ups.
Tamworth council said it carried out $60,000 worth of works on the Manilla Memorial Swimming Pool, but they hit a snag when they started filling it with water and found a substantial loss.
"The drought meant we made it a priority to identify the source of the water loss, however this has taken longer than expected," council's sports and recreation manager Paul Kelly said.
"The search involved considerable excavations on site which needed to be restored and fenced off for safety."
Last month, a suspected structural fault in the 50-year-old sand filter also caused the shutdown of the filtration plant, adding to the water woes.
"An engineering consultant, hydraulics specialist and even a specialist leak detection diver have been engaged to assess the situation and come up with appropriate control to overcome any faults or leaks," Mr Kelly said.
Council said further investigations were continuing this week to ensure no water wastage, and once examinations are complete, an opening date would be advertised.
Mr Kelly said the initial delays to the season opening were due to essential repairs to the 50m pool taking longer than expected.
"Off season works to the value of $60,000 to the 50m pool including repairing broken pipes, repainting the pool, reconstructing a section of the deep end wall and some minor works were delayed due to the limited availability of specialist contractors," he said.
"While this was completed in early November once we filled the pool and started operating the water filtration equipment staff noticed a large volume of water loss."
As park of the works, council also spent $32,000 on works in the off-season including repairing the light towers, taps and shower; rejuvenating the main entry and kiosk, as well as the change rooms and amenities; and servicing the pumps. Now, council is considering the Pool Season Pass fee in light of the delayed opening date.
"We can only apologise to Manilla residents. None of the latter repairs were foreseen and council staff did everything possible to have the Manilla pool open as soon as we could," Mr Kelly said.
"This year council has approved that the former one pool season pass which enables access to all operating swimming pools this season."
The water slide fees at the Barraba and Scully pools have also been reduced from $7 to $3 per half hour session, council said.