Fairview pool won't open for Memorial Day

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - An underground leak will keep the Fairview Family Aquatic Center from opening in time for Memorial Day, the Decatur Park District said Friday.

Two days after filling the pool, workers noticed water running down a nearby hillside.

Workers believe one of the underground pipes that serves the pool is leaking, said Ryan Raleigh, Director of Operations.

"We don't know if it was from the water freeze or if it was a pressure-related thing from one of the pumps and a weak joint," Raleigh said.

Staff winterized the pool over the winter, Raleigh said. The Decatur Park Board chose to keep the pool open this summer after rejecting initial bids for a new aquatic center. The new aquatic center is expected to open in 2019.

Now, park staff are working with plumbers and a St. Louis firm to find the leak and fix it.

"The biggest task right now is first identifying where we think it might be, so we can start there, then try to get to a certain location where we might find the break," Raleigh said. "Getting to those might be difficult due to the amount of concrete we'll have to dig up, other facilities, diving boards, splash grounds, these are all in the way of where these pipes go."

Raleigh said the Park District cannot use the pool while the leak continues, since they would have to treat the water with chemicals. That treated water would leak and could reach a nearby creek, a violation of environmental rules. He said he does not know when the pool may be able to open.

Once the leak is found the Park District can assess the cost of repairs. The Park District will update their website and social media pages when they learn more. 

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