The Southern Downs Regional Council says it’s “time to make a splash with the public swimming pools at Stanthorpe, Allora and Killarney open for summertime fun” as of this week.
A spokeswoman said the Council outdoor pools were closed during the winter months and have recently been cleaned ready for swimmers this summer.
Mayor Tracy Dobie said that the pools provide “an inclusive social environment for the local communities and Council considers re-opening the facilities an important service for residents despite the current drought”.
“Council is fully aware of the need to preserve the dwindling water supplies, however we believe it is in the best interest of the community for the pools to be open over the spring and summer period,” Cr Dobie said.
“Council believes that the region’s swimming pools provide immense community, social, vocational and mental health wellbeing benefits, especially with the expected hot, dry summer months ahead.
“The swimming pools are an important part of the social fabric of our communities and a sanctuary for many people feeling the effects of this terrible drought.
“Whether you want to cool off this summer or get fit, there is nothing like a refreshing swim.”
Meanwhile Tenterfield Mayor Peter Petty says his council staff “have been in a quandary regarding opening the Tenterfield pool facility during the current water crisis”.
“However, thanks to a very generous benefactor who is donating water to offset what is consumed by the pool, the Tenterfield Memorial Pool is set to re-open this Saturday 5 October 2019 for the swimming season,” Cr Petty said this week.
“The very generous benefactor, located in the Brisbane Valley, has given a commitment to council to truck in five million litres (five megalitres) of water from their location – with a B-double capacity of 41,000 litres, that is approximately 122 round trips,” Cr Petty said.
“As the pool takes one million litres (one megalitre) to fill from empty and an additional 250,000 litres for water conditioning, this generous assistance is greatly appreciated.
“Despite the ongoing drought and water restrictions, not opening the pool this summer was seen as a desperate, last resort.
“There are a lot of our residents struggling with the dry and the ability to swim has to be beneficial for people’s mental health.
“In addition, we don’t want to have the situation where a generation of kids failed to learn to swim.
“It will rain, and we will again have water in our dams and rivers and council has an obligation to ensure that kids learn to be safe around water.
“Council staff, together with the pool contractor, are currently hard at work preparing the complex for use, including wrangling with an antiquated compressor that may need total replacement.”