Filter breakdown closes Metuchen pool

BY ENID WEISS Correspondent

METUCHEN — Cloudy water caused the borough’s municipal pool to close about 4 p.m. July 21. The facility reopened July 23, officials said.

The cloudiness occurs when the pool is crowded because the filter cannot keep up with the filtration needs, Councilman Timothy Dacey said. The filter, which was put in when the pool opened in 1968, needs to be replaced. Dacey reported on the condition of the filter during the July 21 council meeting.

“It’s running at 85 percent efficiency,” Dacey said at the meeting. “The pool is tested several times a day and it’s testing fine, but the water is a little cloudy on high-use days.”

The days prior to the closings were exceptionally high use because it was hot over the weekend. Additionally, before the pool opened to the public on Sunday morning, the pool’s swim and dive team held a fundraiser in which they raised more than $9,000 for cancer research.

Dacey has reviewed engineering plans for a new filter and expects to open bidding on the filter contract in August and award the bid Sept. 2. Officials expect the work to cost between $100,000 and $120,000 and to be completed when the pool closes for the season. Officials didn’t learn of the need for a new filter until this spring. Instead of installing the new system so close to the season’s start, which most likely would have prevented the pool from opening on time, they decided to hold off until fall, so they could open the pool May 27 as scheduled.

“Once we know the final price for the filter, we have a whole list of other improvements, including refurbishing the men’s and women’s bathrooms and changing areas as well as improvements to the deck and diving boards in the spring,” Dacey wrote in an e-mail to the Sentinel.