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Leak fixed at Beccles Lido

PUBLISHED: 10:30 08 April 2011

Swimmer in the water at Beccles Lido. Photo: Andy Darnell.

Swimmer in the water at Beccles Lido. Photo: Andy Darnell.

Archant © 2010

A LEAK in Beccles' outdoor pool, which is estimated to have cost a council £100,000 in water bills over more than a decade, has finally been plugged just weeks before the facility opens for the new season.

With the glorious weather set to continue into the weekend, it is not long now until the pool reopens on May 28.

A leak at the pool has been suspected for many years, but a broken pipe was only discovered earlier this year.

The lido used to be run by Waveney District Council but a combination of lack of funds combined with its age led to it becoming run-down and uneconomical to run.

It reopened last August after years of hard work by community volunteers.

Since the leak was discovered volunteers have excavated all the pipework to the shallow end of the main pool and toddler’s pools to ensure that there are no more leaks.

As part of the lido’s British Gas sponsored Green Streets project, two specialist engineers recently arrived on the site to mend the broken pipe.

They wrapped super hard setting resin covered glass fibre around an inflatable tube and put it into the broken pipe. They then inflated the tube, so the glass fibre sheet gradually unwrapped itself, filling the breach.

Graham Norgate, who has been supervising the works, said: “The theory was, when the fibreglass hardened, the pipe should be fixed; and on Thursday, we did a water pressure test and our British Gas Green Streets project manager, Robin Bray, inspected the fix and the lido was at last leak free.”

“We were leaking 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water a day out of that leak last year and heating it first, and maybe for the last 10 years.

“What a waste of precious hot water! So another good job for the lido and for the environment; and a further endorsement of our green credentials.”

Following the discovery of the leak, a spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “We were aware of the crack and periodically completed repairs on various areas of the pool and plant to reduce the loss of water, this included various cracks in the structure, valves and pipework.

“However, we cannot be certain how long this specific issue has existed and any suggestion of the level of financial loss, however dramatic, is pure guesswork.

“Nevertheless, we are very pleased that the new pool owners have rectified the problem.”

Next on the list of jobs to complete before the lido reopens is to fill the re-furbished filter tanks with 20 tonnes of filtration media.

The work will take place at the lido from 9am tomorrow and volunteers will need to be able to lift a 25kg sack of sand! Volunteers who would like to help should contact Shaun Crowley on 07710 976519.

The lottery continues to go from strength to strength, with over 350 tickets now sold toward the target of 1,000, which would raise up to £20,000 a year.

Congratulations to the three winners of the April draw, and in particular Fred Leah who, as town clerk, was at the official opening of the pool in 1959 and the lido in 2010, and last week celebrated his 64th wedding anniversary to Gwenda.

The first prize of £231 went to Mr E Thwaites; second prize of £139 to Mr F Leah and third prize of £92 to Melinda Terry-Wright.

Lottery application forms are widely available in Beccles and can be downloaded from www.beccleslido.com.

The lido now has its own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/beccleslido.

There is a concert at Beccles Public Hall on April 23 and an Auction of Promises at Waveney House Hotel Staithe Room on May 20. Promises please to auction@beccleslido.com or phone 01502 714911 for more information.

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