Swimming pond proposed to replace outdoor pool
Cheaper alternative replacing existing pool
By Bert Lehman
With the estimated cost of replacing the existing municipal outdoor swimming pool in the millions of dollars, the city of Clintonville is exploring the possibility of replacing the pool with a natural swimming pond.
The idea of a natural swimming pond was first discussed at the Oct. 30 Clintonville Parks and Recreation Committee meeting. There, Clintonville Parks and Recreation Director Justin Mc Auly provided the committee an overview of what a natural swimming pond is and how it could be an alternative to the city’s outdoor swimming pool.
After the presentation and discussion, Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told committee members that a decision must be made “very, very soon” about the city’s outdoor swimming pool.
“At some point you guys need to tell the community what we’re going to do,” Eveland said.
The committee asked Mc Auly to research natural swimming ponds further and bring that information to November’s parks and recreation committee meeting.
A month later at the Nov. 27 meeting, Mc Auly told the committee he met with the owner of Wisconsin Lake and Pond Resource LLC out of Eldorado. The discussion revolved around a 1-acre swimming pond.
The current pool is one-tenth of an acre, Mc Auly said.
The discussion also involved types of liners, depth, and types of media to use in the swimming pond.
He said inflatables oftentimes require 10 to 12 feet of depth.
“We talked about potentially putting in a sidewalk to a dock with a lift to make it [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant,” Mc Auly said.
He added that with a swimming pond, pool codes do not have to be followed.
“You can follow beach codes, which are a lot more simple to follow,” Mc Auly said. “So technically we would not have to make it ADA compliant, but to make it more appealing I think it would be wise to look at some sort of dock with a lift or maybe a concrete ramp that would go to the water.”
Mc Auly recommended the city develop a concept plan for a swimming pound and then compare it to the city’s existing concept plan for a renovated swimming pool.
“This would give us two different options,” Mc Auly said. “I think it would be a good idea to move forward on this. I already talked to the administrator and she’s in favor of it.”
The cost to develop a concept plan for a swimming pond would be around $4,000, Mc Auly said.
Mc Auly said the cost to implement a 1-acre swimming pond would be roughly $600,000 to $700,000. The whole project, including a bathhouse, could cost around $1 million.
“The positive thing about this is you don’t have the capital investments in a facility like this,” Mc Auly said. “You don’t have to worry about a concrete basin deteriorating. You do have to worry about potentially a liner that might go out.”
Committee member Jim Supanich asked if the water in a swimming pond needs to be treated like the water in a swimming pool.
Mc Auly said the water does not need to be chlorinated. Chemicals to eliminate algae may be needed.
“There’s not a whole lot of chemical that goes in there to balance it,” Mc Auly said. “It’s all safe for the public.”
Supanich also asked if there are any requirements from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that must be followed with a swimming pond.
“I think it’s just permitting to put it in,” Mc Auly said, but added he would research DNR requirements.
Committee Chairman Steve Kettenhoven said he would like the city to contact communities that have swimming ponds in an effort to obtain as much information as possible.
The committee approved recommending to the Clintonville Finance Committee the approval of $4,150 to develop a concept plan for a natural swimming pond.