City of Lubbock’s Clapp Pool to Remain Closed in 2024

The City’s Clapp Pool, which was built in 1953, and is now 71 years old, will remain closed for the 2024 season due to safety and operational concerns identified at the end of last summer.

Late in the 2023 pool season (July – August), staff experienced problems in keeping proper chemical levels in the pool and noticed consistent running of the auto water fill valve feature. These issues pointed to a leak somewhere in the pool system. Staff promptly started contacting companies to run pressure tests on the filtration system.

Staff was met with difficulties to diagnose the issues as pool companies that were approached for diagnostics and estimates would either not run tests on Clapp Pool given its age, or did not have the capabilities to do so on a pool of that size.

After the 2023 pool season ended (September – December), static leak tests were performed on the pool by City staff. A static leak test requires staff to turn off all pool circulation systems and measure water loss. It was discovered that 300,510 gallons of water out of 351,000 gallons (85% of the total pool water) was lost in 20 days, averaging a loss of 15,000 gallons a day. Water loss severely slowed once it passed an expansion joint entering the deep end of the pool. Staff concluded the leak must be at, or near, that expansion joint.
After the water balance tank was examined for possible leaks, it was discovered to be in deterioration. The ceiling of the water balance tank, which is also the floor of the pump house, was found to have crumbling concrete and rusted rebar within the concrete. The City utilized various internal resources to investigate and attempt to remedy these issues.
Engineers from both the City of Lubbock Public Works Department and a third-party engineering firm examined the tank. The third-party engineering firm began developing potential options to repair the failing ceiling/floor. The City Parks & Rec Department received a proposal from engineers for a possible solution in April of 2024.
It was determined that the current water balance tank is in a state of disrepair and replacing it is not a viable option. It was recommended that the current sump pit tank be converted into the new water balance tank, and that the City build a new surge tank, relocate the pumps, chemical feeders, electrical, and other plumbing out of the pump house to rebuild the system. It was also recommended that the City seal the expansion joint to address water loss. The timeline for repairs is 4-6 months, and the estimated cost of repairs is approximately $325,000.
The City’s new splash pads are set to open in Summer 2024.

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