Ipswich residents keen to get back into the pool this winter will enjoy warmer water at Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre after new electric heaters were switched on Friday 14 April.
Last year council committed to replacing the inefficient gas heaters and upping the water temperature in the pool from 29 to 32 degrees, the ideal temperature for hydrotherapy.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was good news that the heaters were operational in time for the colder months.
“I’m delighted that the 25-metre outdoor swimming pool is ready for water therapy patrons and swimmers to keep warm and active through the colder months,” Mayor Harding said.
“After such strong feedback from the community about the importance of having the pool heated to 32 degrees, we’re pleased to see this commitment met.
“The 25-metre pool will reopen 14 April, and the water temperature will gradually increase to the full 32 degrees within the coming days.”
Council committed to transitioning from gas to electric heaters at the swim centre last year, after feedback that many users felt the water temperature was too cool.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said while the new electric heaters had been installed in December, there had been a longer wait than expected for utility provider Energex to reconnect the power supply to the new electric circuit board.
“The electric heaters have replaced the less efficient gas heaters and will allow the 25m outdoor pool temperature to be consistently maintained at 32 degrees,” Cr Tully said.
“This is the optimum temperature for water therapy. Council understood how important this was for residents who rely on water therapy for personal health and fitness.”
Concerns about the pool temperature were first raised by local resident Mr Ken Alderton, who presented a case to council to increase the winter pool temperature from 29 to 32 degrees.
More than 200 contributions were made to a public survey on the pool’s temperature, with more than half of respondents saying they visited the pool for personal fitness (54 per cent) and 44 per cent visiting weekly.
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said it was welcome news that after several delays, the heaters were now switched on.
“Residents told us they needed the pool water temperature warmer during winter so they could continue their important therapy classes, and enjoy their time in the pool,” Cr Fechner said.
“This is a great outcome from council’s community consultation and we hope that residents enjoy the warmer water temperature during winter.”
Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle thanked residents for their patience while Energex completed the power connection.
“With the upgrade now finally complete, we again thank residents for their patience during this unexpectedly long process,” Cr Doyle said.
“This has been a great opportunity for Cr Fechner and I to work with the community, advocate on their behalf within council and secure a good outcome for those who rely on this pool.
“We are pleased to have met the needs of residents.”
The Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre is on Toongarra Road, Leichhardt.