Council is confident that the new pool floor and lifeguard observation post at Newcastle Ocean Baths will not be a problem | Newcastle Herald

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NEWCASTLE’s board has defended its plan to concrete the floor of the Newcastle Ocean Baths swimming pool, but a user group remains concerned that sand will not accumulate there. The council unveiled the final designs for the pool and boardwalk upgrade this week as it issued a tender for a building contractor. The designs followed two previous versions released for comment. One contentious aspect is the planned capping of the ground, which is currently a “wavy rock” covered with a layer of sand. The sandy bottom is popular for wading, and users have raised concerns that lifting the pool walls and covering the ground could prevent the sand from forming as completely as it does today. They pointed to the main pool of the Merewether Baths, which has a concrete floor, as an example. Friends of Newcastle Ocean Baths (FONOB), a group set up to prevent the privatization of the bathhouse, said this week the council had not produced evidence that conditions for waders would not be changed, including failure to complete a wave passing study. In response, the council said a concrete floor would provide “a safe, level surface that will define a maximum pool depth when sand levels are low while allowing for improved water quality.” “The current water quality is a problem that FONOB has repeatedly complained about. By concreting the rocky bottom, we will significantly improve the water quality.” This is a decision that has been welcomed by the community reference group set up to oversee the design. Only FONOB opposed it and even then belatedly. »The terrace of the existing swimming pool will be raised by 20 to 30 centimeters. “The baths and in particular the new pool terrace were designed for a 50 year lifespan, which means we have to take sea level rise into account,” he said. risks of coastal flooding likely for 2050 and 2100 … [and] clearly identifies “we can expect wave overflow volumes to increase and wave overflow events to become more frequent in the future”. “Sand will continue to accumulate in the pool via natural oceanic processes, as it does now. Last year so much sand entered … over 1,000 tonnes … was removed. . ” The council also refuted a suggestion that rescuers were not happy with the location of a lifeguard post, which was hit by heavy swells this week, saying it was “designed in consultation” with them. and offered the “best lines of sight”. This was primarily for sun protection and would not be used in heavy swells. IN THE NEWS Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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