WALLINGFORD — Stagnant water in the shuttered Community Pool is slowing draining, but might take up to three days to fully empty, officials said.
Public Works Director Rob Baltramaitis said Thursday that a department employee opened the valve to drain the water the day before.
Public Works plans to monitor the pool throughout the season, he said.
Community Pool, which is 43,000 square feet and holds a million gallons of water, has been closed since the end of the 2019 season and won’t be open this summer.
The health and safety risks of having water in the pool came up Wednesday during a meeting of the Recreation Commission.
Commission member Jason Michael, who is slated to take over as chairperson of the commission at its next meeting, raised the issue of water in the pool, “especially water of depth.”
“It’s a mosquito breeding ground that’s not being treated,” he said, adding that “it’s not exactly Fort Knox,” meaning the deep, unsupervised water could be dangerous if someone hopped the fence around the pool.
“I just think it’s a situation that’s unnecessary, unless there’s a reason that it’s got water in it,” he said. “Right now there’s only two rungs showing up the ladder to get out of the lane pool.”
Baltramaitis said that Public Works wants to keep some water in the pool during the winter. It helps insulate the pipes underneath the pool and protects them from freezing, he said.
Community Pool has been a public facility since the 1950s, when a swimming hole was renovated into reportedly the largest asphalt swimming pool in the world.
Last May, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. vetoed Town Council-approved funding of $7.4 million to renovate Community Pool into a multi-use park, with a scaled down pool, splash pad and new bathhouse.
Michael Savenelli Sr., chair of the Recreation Commission’s pool subcommittee, said Wednesday that a recent meeting with the mayor yielded no fruitful conversation on the future of the facility.