Penola’s residents and visitors can now swim in warm water at the town’s public pool following the installation of solar and electric heating.
“With a water temperature around a pleasant 25 degrees, we hope that many more people will use this fantastic free facility, particularly in the cooler months of November and March,” explained Wattle Range Council Chief Executive Officer Ben Gower.
“The upgrade includes new mechanical rollers and pool blankets for the large and small pools to retain the heat generated by the Suntube panelling and boosted by the electric heat pump.
“This project resulted from collaboration between the community and Council, with some financial support from the State Government.”
In 2017, the Penola Amateur Swim Club launched a successful campaign for State Government funding through the Fund My Neighbourhood program. The Club also contributed $10,000 towards the $169,000 project. Council made up the remainder of the funds needed for the project to succeed, and has delivered the project on time and on budget.
Penola Amateur Swim Club Secretary, Stuart Sharman, explained the reasons for the campaign, which was successful in attracting enough votes from the local community to be funded.
“Heating the pool will make a real difference to the Club, particularly the junior swimmers who were often shivering after training due to the low temperatures” he said.
Wattle Range Council is a member of the Watch Around Water programme, and Mr Gower reminded people that supervision of children at the pools is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
“The message that we need to get through is ‘Your Child, Your Focus’” he said.
“We have lifeguards on duty to deal with an emergency, but it is really the role of parents and guardians to prevent that from happening.”
“This season, our lifeguards will be implementing the Watch Around Water principles that children under five must be within arm’s reach and children under ten must be directly supervised.”
With this in mind, Council has raised the age for children to attend the pool without an older person to supervise them. From now on, children 12 years and under must be supervised by a responsible person 16 years or over. Any children under 13 years who attend the pool without a responsible person will be asked to leave.
The Penola Pool is now open for the swim season on days when the forecast is for 20 degrees and over. Patrons can swim free of charge from 3 - 6pm Monday to Friday and 1 - 6pm on weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
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