Tenders for a building contractor to complete the Newcastle Ocean Baths Stage 1 upgrade have been closed with the City of Newcastle on track to appoint a prime contractor at the board meeting of October.
The Newcastle Ocean Baths upgrade is a phased project with the priority pools, boardwalks and pumps for Stage 1 while the Upper Lobby and Pavilion building will be considered for Stage 2.
Deputy Mayor Declan Clausen said a less visible but very important part of the Stage 1 work is the pump upgrade which will see three new submersible pump sets built alongside the existing pump station, which is preserved as a heritage item.
“The Newcastle Ocean Baths are about four times the size of an Olympic swimming pool and hold around 6.5 million liters of water,” said Cr Clausen.
“Currently, the pool operates by being filled and drained once a week with limited or no water circulation when the oceans are calm, as is often the case during peak periods in summer.
“A new pump system capable of transforming pool water in six hours will dramatically improve water quality and clarity. “
Acting City of Newcastle Infrastructure and Property Manager Joanne Rigby said six pumping system options were considered before a final wet well structure was specified to improve health and safety as well. that the reliability and maintainability of the equipment.
“There is a lot to consider for infrastructure located in a seawater environment. Currently we need to replace the pumps every three months, but we expect a lifespan of up to six years with the new system. pump, ”Ms. Rigby said.
“The safety of our pool maintenance team will also be enhanced with the ability to operate the pump system remotely, thus minimizing the need to access infrastructure which at the current location in the event of heavy swell, is dangerous or just impossible. “
The new pumping system will be located underground to the north of the existing pumping station, with only the pumping station access covers visible.
The City of Newcastle has pledged to fund the renewal of Newcastle Ocean Baths and has allocated the $ 9.5 million recovered from the sale of the Frederick Ash Building to the project.
The Newcastle Ocean Baths Stage 1 upgrade also received $ 3 million in funding from the Government of New South Wales as part of the New South Wales Public Spaces Legacy Program. South.