Repairs to Lions Pool in the coming year are likely to cost between $160,000 and $210,000.
At their May 17 meeting, Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board members are expected to vote on replacing the pool’s filtration system. Superintendent of Parks Doug Boehm Tuesday told board members that the current filtration system, first installed in 1983, is “shot” and needs to be replaced.
Boehm said filtration system repairs are needed “to get us through the upcoming season.” The current system has two large tanks and each has two zones. Two of the four zones are not functioning properly and are developing pinhole leaks, he said.
Filtration systems like the one at Lions Pool generally have a 25-year life span, Boehm said.
The filtration system has shown signs of aging over the last four years, according to a memo from Boehm to the board. Staff members recently inspected the system after observing several troubling signs – inefficiency in backwashing, too much sand in the water and excessive rust on the outside of the tanks. Emergency repairs to the system will cost $3,800, Boehm said.
Once those repairs are made, the park district needs to start the process of replacing the filtration system, he said. Estimated replacement costs are $160,000 for a horizontal fiberglass sand filter system and $210,000 for a regenerative media filter system.
Changes to the pool structure, including work on the pump room and filtration system, need the approval of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Boehm said it takes time to win the state’s approval for such projects – getting the OK for a new waterslide in 2013 took five months – and it is important to start the process as soon as possible so the work can proceed on schedule.
Boehm said the first step in the process is to hire an aquatic engineer to do the design for the entire filtration replacement project and also make sure that the work meets the state’s requirements. He said he’s contacted Innovative Replacement Design, of Hoffman Estates, which did the engineering for the slide replacement project and is already familiar with Lions Pool. The firm has submitted a proposal of $6,400 for the design work.
The park district has adjusted its budget to accommodate the replacement of the filtration system at the end of the current aquatic season, Boehm said.
Board member Steve Johnson asked if the park district should be investing “that much money” in the pool.
“Our staff believes we need a community pool,” Executive Director Debbie Kopas said.
Park board President Bob Haderlein agreed with Kopas that a community pool should be available to Homewood-Flossmoor residents.
Kopas said Tuesday that plans for a new pool were discussed prior to the start of the 2007 recession. At that time, the district considered building a new pool at a cost of about $6 million. The economic downturn put an end to those discussions and plans.