Council promises warm water for winter at Cromwell pool

by Kim Bowden - May 30, 2024

Swimmers at Cromwell's council-run pool are being told they can trust a new heating system to keep water warm this winter.

In June last year Crux reported the $900,000 heating setup was failing to keep the pools at the facility at their correct temperatures - particularly the adults-only spa.

Now, the council is promising the challenges of last winter will not be repeated this year.

A spokesperson says an additional heating coil that was part of the initial design but left off, as it was thought the system could cope without it, has now been installed.

The error in judgement became obvious in the coldest months of 2024, when disgruntled pool users were left shivering in the learner's pool or finding the spa out of action.

There has been no extra bill to the ratepayer for the work, which came within the budget allocated for the project, the spokesperson says.

"We had hoped that this wouldn’t have been required but was an option from the initial design should the first setup not be sufficient."

They are confident the pools will continue to reach their desired temperatures as the mercury drops. 

"In the first month of the colder season, we have seen the heating system working as it should."

The unique system was installed two years ago, and it makes use of the town's water supply for heating, replacing an LPG boiler.

It lowers operating costs and carbon emissions.

But the challenge lay in connecting the new infrastructure into an older system, especially when it came to calibration, the spokesperson says.

"(The problem related to) understanding the water flows within the water network in Cromwell particularly during colder months, and how the new heating system interacted with the water flow and heat exchange units."

Reporting to a council meeting Wednesday, Cromwell Community Board chair Anna Harrison said the board had welcomed the "great news" of a fix to the heating issues that have plagued the pool.

"It should be smooth sailing through the winter this year."

The council's greener heating option attracted $100,000 in funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Main image (CODC): The lap pool at Cromwell's council-run aquatic centre.

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