POOLS - Q: What is the current level of service?

A:  Year round swimming opportunities are now available at Katoomba, Springwood and Glenbrook.

Year round fitness opportunities are available at Katoomba and Springwood

Year Round Indoor sports and Indoor play centre facilities are available at Katoomba.

Heated Seasonal pools are available at Katoomba and Lawson 6 months each year and unheated seasonal pools are available at Blackheath 4 months a year

POOLS - Q: What is the visitation to the pools?

A: 

Centre

Total Visits to the pool

2016/2017

Blackheath

16884

Katoomba

67416

Lawson

33207

Springwood

136097

Glenbrook

103725

POOLS- Q: What is the length of current seasons?

A: Blackheath Pool   4 months

Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre   12 months

Lawson Swim Centre  6 months

Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre  12 months

Glenbrook Swim Centre  12 months

POOLS - Q: What investment has occurred since 2000?

A: Prior to 2000 the Blue Mountains City Council operated 5 outdoor seasonal pools .

In 2000 the Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre was expanded to provide an additional indoor 25m pool, toddlers pool sauna, spa, fitness facilities and double multi-purpose sports stadium.

In 2004 the Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre was opened to the public providing a 25 metre pool, learners pool, leisure pool, waterslide ,sauna, spa, steam room and fitness facilities.

In 2006 the 25metre pool was renewed at Blackheath and new filtration plant was installed to support the new pool facilities. The balance tank was also renewed.

In 2008 the Kids Kingdom indoor Children’s play centre was opened at the Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre.

In 2012 the filtration and pipework was renewed at the Glenbrook Swim Centre upgrading the facility to meet modern standards and a dome to cover the learners pool was installed.

Investment in the Aquatic assets supporting aquatic services is significant and ongoing.


POOLS - Q: What is the Proposed Service Hierarchy for pools?

A: The below Hierarchy of Service is proposed to offer an equitable and affordable level of service across the mountains.

Local Facility

Outdoor seasonal swimming pools with links to park or water play within parks.

  - Blackheath Pool

  - Lawson Swim Centre

District Facility

Providing Indoor Multi-purpose Year Round Facilities and Active & Healthy Living Programs

  - Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre

  - Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre

Competition Facility

Providing a competition 50m pool for the LGA and year swimming opportunities

  - Glenbrook Swim Centre

POOLS - Q: What is the proposed new level of service level?

Year round swimming opportunities would be available at Katoomba, Springwood and Glenbrook.

Year round fitness opportunities would be available at Katoomba and Springwood

Year Round Indoor sports and Indoor play centre facilities and outdoor sports facilities would be available at Katoomba

Heated seasonal pool would be available 6 months each year at Lawson and Blackheath. Splash pads would be available at Lawson and Blackheath to compliment the swimming facility.


POOLS - Q: Why would you consider closing a pool?

There has been significant investment in the Aquatic and Leisure Centre assets over the past 17 year and service levels have been increased with the addition of indoor year round pool facilities. In the recent Open Space and Recreation research - Swimming pools was the 6th highest priority for future investment.

It is important to consider changes in community expectations, new opportunities, such as Splash pads and what investments will be made in the next 10-15 years to meet future community needs.


POOLS - Q: Why haven’t the pools been maintained?

A: The pools are well maintained however the facilities are aging and deteriorating and some facilities need to be renewed. Our older filtration systems do not meet modern filtration standards. 


POOLS - Q: Why would you consider closing Katoomba Outdoor pool?

A: The Blue Mountains provides a high number of pools in comparison to other LGAs. Our community does have a strong connection to their local pool and there is a desire to retain the 5 pool facilities at Blackheath, Katoomba, Lawson, Springwood and Glenbrook. As there are higher recreational priorities for investment, to maintain the 5 aquatic facilities, it is proposed that we maximize the use of assets in good condition and retire assets in aged condition. This approach would retain the 5 swimming pool locations however offer less pools in each location.

Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre outdoor pools are proposed to close as it would cost approx. $6.7 million to renew this outdoor pool facility. The centre does provide a year round indoor pool and investigations to expand the indoor facilities is suggested.

POOLS - Q: What is wrong with the pools – what does the Pool is failing mean?

A: The asset challenges are different at the different swim centres across the city.

Katoomba Outdoor pool’s older filtration system does not meet current standards. The change room facilities supporting the outdoor pools are basic and aging, there is minimal shade and the flood lighting requires renewal.

Lawson Swim Centre’s older filtration system does not meet current standards and is being upgraded in 2018. This upgrade would enable the operation of a splash pad and reinstates flood lighting. It is possible to adapt the upgraded filtration system to filter the current tots and learner’s pool.

Blackheath Pool has a modern filtration system that could be adapted to operate a splash pad. The freeform pool and tots pool shells have greatly deteriorated and are nearing the end of their useful life. 


POOLS - Q: Can the Katoomba Outdoor pools filtration system be upgraded without renewing the whole facility?

A: The Council is seeking an independent report on the options and costs to upgrade/maintain the existing Katoomba outdoor pools. The Council will consider this report along with the community feedback on the Draft Open Space and Recreation Strategic Plan provided during the Public Exhibition Process.


How do our aquatic centres and pools cater for people with a disability?

Our district aquatic centres in Springwood and Katoomba  both have an accessible heated indoor pool and accessible amenities.

Blackheath

There is an accessible change room and toilet. There is an aquatic wheelchair provided on site.

A splash pad would be fully accessible for people in aquatic wheelchairs.

We do not currently have a hoist to assist access into the 25m pool – however this would cost $10,000 to install and is included in the proposed upgrade.

The ramp in the Leisure Pool does not comply with the BCA or the Australian Standardsfor Access in that there is no guide rail or hob near the base to stop wheel chairs going over the end.

Katoomba

There is a hoist to assist people into the indoor 25 metre pool. There is an accessible change room and toilet indoors.

The outdoor pools are not accessible.There is stair access into the 50m pool with stair access down from the main centre to the outdoor pools. There is no accessible outdoor change room or toilet facility.

Lawson

There is no accessible change or toilet facility.

There is step access to the 50m pool – however there are portable plastic steps that we have put in to assist physically challenged people.

We do not currently have a hoist to assist people into the pool.

The proposed splash pad would be fully accessible for people in aquatic wheelchairs.

Springwood

There are 2 accessible change and toilet facilities.

There is ramp access into the program pool and two aquatic wheelchairs are available on site.

There is stair access to the 25m pool.The hoist to the 25m pool is to be replaced.

Glenbrook

There is 1 accessible change facility.

There is ramp access into the program pool and two aquatic wheelchairs are available on site.

There is stair access to the 50m pool.There is not a hoist to assist access.


POOLS - Q: How many carnivals are held at each centre?

A: 

Centre

Average Number of Swimming Carnivals

Blackheath

0

Katoomba

4

Lawson

14

Springwood

2

Glenbrook

22

POOLS - Q: Can the school carnivals currently held at Katoomba be accommodated at Lawson Swim Centre?

A: Yes – this will however require some additional travel for some schools and the impact of this does need to be discussed with the individual schools.

As an example Katoomba High currently hold the school swimming carnival at Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre. The travel for this school to Lawson Swim Centre would be 17km. In comparison to existing arrangements Winmalee High School does currently travel 23km to Lawson Swim Centre for their Swim School activities. 

POOLS - Q: Would the Special Swim Scheme run by the Department of Education continue in the indoor pool if Katoomba Outdoor pools were closed?

A: Yes – to accommodate the school swimming lessons programs it may be necessary to close the indoor pool to the public for periods of time during summer and this needs to be discussed. Currently we do close the pools at Lawson and Glenbrook to accommodate school carnivals. This is advertised and lap swimming is restricted to 6:00am – 9:00am and from 4:00pm on these days.

POOLS - Q: Will the Upper Mountains have sufficient pools to cater for the future demand?

A: It is proposed that the outdoor pool at Blackheath is heated and the season and operating hours are extended to provide access and swimming opportunity to cater for demand for outdoor swimming facilities.  

POOLS - Q: What is a splash pad and what are the benefits?

A: A splash pad is a recreation area with water spraying nozzles of various kinds with no standing water. Aside from the benefits of cooling down and getting much-needed exercise, there are many other great reasons to play at a splash pad

-  A splash pad is safer than a pool

-  A splash pad provides an education and fun sensory experience

-  A splash pad is accessible for everyone


POOLS - Q: How is a splash pad safer?

A: Splash Pads are an easy alternative to swimming pools for many families concerned about water safety as there is no standing water there is little risk of drowning.

Blue Mountains City Council implements the Royal Lifesaving Society Keep Watch @ Public Pools guidelines. This guideline requires a parent to be in the water and within arms -reach of their child at all times with children 0-5 years. This can be challenging for parents with multiple small children or parents with a baby who have different tolerances for the length of time they are happy to be in the water.

A splash pad would provide a safe water play environment to compliment swimming activities. 


POOLS - Q: How does a splash pad provide an education and fun sensory experience?

A: Water play provides a rich sensory experience for the developing child. Playing with water is important for a child’s sensory integration and development. Splash pads provide a great way to do this. While they are busy having fun, kids can also begin to learn about and experiment with the physics of water as the different nozzles turn on and off.

Aquatic Wheelchairs can be used on splash pad areas. The sensory enjoyment of water spray can be enjoyed by all.


POOLS - Q: Will the plans for a Splash pad at Lawson impact the children learning to swim?

A: The Lawson 50m pool is 90cm in the shallow end. Based on the standard range of Height to Age Charts- School Age Children would be able to stand in 90cm of water and safely undertake beginner lessons in this shallow water.