The City of Cape Town’s Athlone, Bonteheuwel, Manenberg and Hanover Park public swimming pools will only be open on weekends until the end of summer as part of the City’s water-saving measures.
The move, which came into effect on Monday February 13, sees all but six of the City’s 35 public swimming pools close during the week due to the Level 3B water restrictions.
With the exception of Sea Point, Mnandi Resort pool and four indoor facilities in Long Street, Retreat, Blue Downs and Strand, all public swimming pools will be closed from Monday to Thursday.
The swimming pools will only be open to the public from 2pm until 5pm, on Fridays, and from 10am to 5pm, on Saturdays and Sundays, until the end of March, when pools will close for the winter season.
“According to previous pool user logs, attendance during week days averaged at around 75 people a day during February and March 2016 and around 150 people a day on weekends. This shows that the swimming pools are used 50 percent more over weekends, compared with week days during February and March. With the low usage levels during the week, it is impractical to keep these pools open while facing the current water crisis in Cape Town,” said JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and social services.
It is estimated that more than 1 680kl of water a day will be saved each day, just by eliminating the daily backwash the pools need. With pools only staying open on weekends, only one backwash a week will be needed. Showers at pools will be switched off and splashing in pools will also be monitored and restricted.
Only normal bathing costumes may be worn when swimming at public swimming pools as significant water can be wasted just by swimming in casual clothing.
“The situation is not ideal, but I trust the public can appreciate the severity of the situation and will support this measure, over and above their individual water-saving efforts. We need to look at the bigger picture and, frankly, a short-term sacrifice like this is a small price to pay if we consider the impact it will have on our longer-term water supply and needs,” said Mr Smith.