Seventeen of the City of Cape Town's municipal swimming pools will be open during the peak summer season, the City said.

Cape Town - Seventeen of the City of Cape Town's municipal swimming pools will be open during the peak summer season, the City said on Wednesday.

"More than 1,5 million people use the City’s public swimming pools annually and, with water conservation still a priority, the Recreation and Parks Department has put plans in place to open 17 of the 35 municipal swimming pools during the peak summer season, the City said.

The indoor pools that will be open are: Blue Downs; Long Street; Retreat, Sea Point Pavilion and Strand.

The outdoor pools that will be open are: Atlantis; Bellville South; Bonteheuwel; Eastridge; Goodwood; Hanover Park; Kensington; Khayelitsha; Manenberg; Mnandi; Muizenberg; and Vulindlela. 

The outdoor pools will close again on February 2.

"All our operational swimming pools have been fitted with two 10 000-litre plastic tanks that are used to backwash and filter water that is circulated back into the swimming pool for re-use. By doing this, the City is saving a substantial amount of water that would have been lost," said City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

He said: "The department has cemented its commitment to conserving water and has started implementing plans to reduce the dependency on potable water to maintain the swimming pools.

"With this in mind, the department is continually looking at innovative ways of conserving water while still providing quality amenities to help residents cool off during the summer heat."

As one of 17 public swimming pools that will be open this summer season, Muizenberg has the added distinction of boasting its own alternative fresh water source.

"Initially, the plan was to draw salt water as an alternative water source for the Muizenberg pool, but drilling for a well point resulted in finding good quality fresh water instead, which will also be used for irrigation," explained Smith.

He said an additional well point was drilled to serve the purpose of a water collection point which operates independently and the water will be used to top up other operational swimming pools.

The cost of drilling the well point was just over R400 000 and the scope of work included drilling several well points, connecting them to the water tanks and then into the plant.

Additional work that must still be done includes cutting into the perimeter fence to install an access gate, while a custom fitting will be installed for the stand pipe which connects to the department’s water trucks.

Muizenberg has five seasonal lifeguards and one seasonal senior lifeguard on duty. In addition, new equipment at the pool includes a spinal board with head blocks and harness, a shade cover for lifeguards and four wrap-around lifesaving devices.

"Careful consideration went into selecting which facilities to open this summer. Some of the criteria included the accessibility of the facilities and their location in relation to transport routes, but also to ensure equal representation across the four areas of the city," Smith said.

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