The following email was sent out to members on Friday 22nd July:
This is to let you know there is likely to be a delay in opening the pool on the morning of Sunday 24th July until water safety can be confirmed following urgent chemical treatment the previous evening. We hope the pool should be open by 7.30am. This is due to the need to “shock” the pool with chlorine to improve water clarity following heavy use during the recent hot water. Please be assured that despite looking cloudy, the water has been tested and is safe for swimming.
If you are planning to swim first thing or have a booking on Sunday morning, then we recommend you check the website https://sherepool.org.uk/ before travelling where the alert message above the map of “How to Find Us” will be updated. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Thank you to those of you who have already responded to the Members survey at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfvAGjlXqujHrhHBvmx8eNY9_0o06WvACWMHAwmd7rjBFaNOQ/viewform
The survey will remain open for a few more days.
A number of members have expressed concerns about empty lanes during recent weeks, either resulting from people not turning up for their bookings or short-notice cancellations. The Committee are actively monitoring this now, and it could result in offenders being blocked from using the booking system.
If you do find you need to cancel a booking, please do so as soon as you realise you need to - and at least an hour before the start. If you don't have the booking reference to hand, you can always find it out at https://sherepool.org.uk/book-a-swim/my-bookings/
The following email was sent out to members on Tuesday 18th July:
We hope you are enjoying your swimming this season and using the new changing rooms.
At last year's AGM we announced the results of the Membership survey based upon which we implemented the mixed booking and open swimming approach we have been running with so far this season. We also said we would send out a followup survey to see how you felt it was working, so we would much appreciate it if you could spare a little time to provide us with some feedback through the survey now open at SSPC Members Survey Summer 2022
We know that surveys can get a little tedious, so we have made the main section as easy as possible, with the opportunity to answer other questions as you see fit.
It would be helpful if you could respond to this survey as soon as possible, ideally before the end of July, so that any changes can be implemented as soon as is practicable.
We would also like to bring the following important points to your attention:
- Please keep the gate closed and do not let anyone into the pool who is not a member with a valid card, or their paid guest. If necessary challenge them, as there have been instances recently when non-members have gained access.
- Please do not put anything other than toilet paper (in small amounts) down the toilet as we have already had one blockage which has cost us dearly to resolve.
- If you find it necessary to cancel a booking, please do so as soon as possible as it is disappointing to see unused lanes when we know that there is excess demand for booking slots during the current hot weather. Please be considerate to your fellow members as you would wish them to be considerate to you.
We are still urgently looking for one or more volunteers who would be willing to be trained up to be part of the technical team responsible for running the pool for the remainder of this season and beyond. At present we have no technical back up for the Pool Operations Manager, so there is a danger that the pool may need to close if he becomes unavailable for any reason. This role would involve monitoring, testing and adjusting the operation of the plant room equipment, including chemical dosing, filters, pumps and heating systems, which should take less than 10 hours a week. Please would anyone interested contact Clive Stevens, our Pool Operations Manager at acsinuk[at]yahoo.co.uk or on 01483 202384.
You may have noticed that this email is coming from a new email address (email@example.com) - this is courtesy of the Google for Non-profits scheme and should enable us to communicate more easily with all members.
Sent on behalf of the SSPC Committee
Our apologies for the brief closure of the pool on Tuesday afternoon/evening following an issue with the pumps which one of our volunteers was able to resolve later in the evening.
Following a number of requests to allow children to swim with their friends after school (something we had been intending to arrange at some point but the sudden arrival of decent weather has highlighted), the period from 3pm-6pm on Mondays-Fridays will also now be set aside for open swimming. This is in addition to the Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2pm-close.
This will be effective from Tuesday 21st June (we couldn't do it any sooner as some of the slots during that period had already been booked up until Monday 20th).
We will be contacting members shortly for their views on the current mix of bookings and open swimming.
The following email is being sent out to members on Tuesday 17th May:
We are pleased to announce we are able to re-open the pool from 6am tomorrow, Wednesday 18 May. The booking system will be opened up again shortly, with the first bookable slots available from next Monday, 23 May. Until then the pool can be used without booking, subject to our normal opening hours of 6am to 9pm.
We now realise that with the rebuilding works delayed until early May, this did not leave us enough time to get the pool running and fully checked out. (More details below if you are interested.)
We apologise once again for the late opening of the pool and look forward to a successful season from now on. In a few weeks we will seek your views on how you find a mixed system of bookings and unrestricted swimming is working.
Sent on behalf of
David Roe, Chairman of Trustees
[For various reasons it was recommended that we switch from chlorine to bromine tablets for keeping the pool water safe for swimming. This has required some quite complicated recalibration of the settings of our automated chemical dosing system, and revising the corresponding measurements that need to be taken. All this took a lot more time and effort than we were expecting.]
The following email was sent out to members on Sunday 15th May:
Although good progress has been made following a lot of hard work from the Pool Operations Team, we are still experiencing some difficulties in getting our automated chemical dosing machine (known by the team as the "DOSi") to correctly manage the introduction of the new bromine tablets to the pool. These are used to maintain the chemical balance and water quality at the right levels. Rather than opening the pool and then possibly having to close it again, we need to spend more time in testing, reviewing and refining the DOSi operation over the next few days.
David Roe, Chairman of Trustees
The following email was sent to members on Sunday 8th May:
Unfortunately we are still experiencing problems with the new tablets used to maintain the water quality and as a result we need to delay full re-opening of the pool. Over the weekend we were able to allow swimming by using the old tablets. However, we need to go back to using the new tablets from Monday, and as yet we are unable to guarantee the necessary water quality levels.
The pool will therefore remain closed while we understand how best to get the new tablets to work effectively. We hope this should not take more than a few days. In the meantime the opening of the booking system will be put on hold. We will let you know on the website when the pool can re-open and we take bookings.
Meanwhile, our sincere apologies.
Sent on behalf of
David Roe, Chairman of Trustees
The following email was sent to members on Friday 6th May:
We are very pleased to announce that we are planning to re-open the pool tomorrow, Saturday 7 May, from 1.30pm.
Apologies for the very short notice but there has been a lot to do in finalising arrangements following the completion of our splendid new changing rooms.
There is still a slight chance that chemical levels might not be up to the required amounts by early Saturday afternoon, as the new tablets we are using for the first time take a lot longer to dissolve, however we are keeping our fingers crossed. We will post a message on the website if there needs to be any short delay.
For the opening weekend there will be no need to book due to the limited time left to organise this. A short opening ceremony for the changing rooms and 'official' handover from our builder, Rob Arrow, will be held at 1pm on Saturday which members are welcome to attend. The pool will then be open for swimming after that until 9pm. On Sunday it will be open from 6am to 9pm. Please note that with no booking slots and warm weather, the pool could be busy, so please don't stay for too long to give others a chance to swim, and respect the normal rules, including there being no more than 50 swimmers in the pool at any one time! The booking system will open up over the weekend, with the first booking slots available from Monday 9 May.
Pool arrangements for use thereafter
The results from the members’ survey last Autumn indicated that the most were for retaining the booking system, but the numbers wanting some form of mixed system, combining booking with some open swimming, were not far behind. Taking member comments into account, we propose that for the 2022 season we trial a combined system. Initially, lane bookings will be retained for all swims with the exception of the following times when members can turn up and swim without a booking:
Monday – Sunday 6am – 7.30am
Saturday and Sunday: 2pm – Close
Please do not turn up at other times unless you have a booking.
Lane markers will remain in place throughout, for the moment, although now it will be possible to have up to ten people in any one lane, whereas previously the limit was six.
This modified system will be operated for a trial period, throughout May and early June, and further member feedback will be sought in order to see whether further adjustments to the operation of the combined system are appropriate and practicable thereafter. In particular, quite a number of members were keen to have more open swimming after school for families and in the school summer holidays.
Health and Safety
With the official government opening up from Covid restrictions, we have been able to set aside many of the restrictions on use of the pool, but members should still be aware of the ongoing risks of transmission and ensure that they do not attend the pool when they are testing positive or have symptoms.
You should also note that we have made some changes to our rules to comply with the CIMPSA swimming pool safe supervision guidelines (these were set out in the rules you have received with your membership applications, which you have signed to say you will comply with!). These include the need for supervision by one adult of no more than three children under 8 in the water with them, and no more than 6 children for those aged between 8 and 16.
Technical Operational Support at the Pool
Our pool and your swimming are critically dependent on the hard work of a lot of volunteers, not least in running the pool operations.
We are urgently looking for one or more additional volunteers who would be willing to be trained up to be part of the technical team responsible for running the pool this season and beyond (May to October). This would involve regularly monitoring, testing and adjusting the operation of the plant room equipment, including chemical dosing, filters, pumps and heating systems, for a short time, probably a couple of days a week. This would suit someone with an engineering or other technical background and interest. Please would anyone interested contact Clive Stevens, our Pool Operations Manager at acsinuk[at]yahoo.co.uk or on 01483 202384.
We also desperately need more volunteers to help with testing the pool water quality. If you think you could help here, please contact Steve Moggs, our Health & Safety Manager at health-and-safety[at]sherepool.org.uk
We hope you enjoy using the new changing room facilities and your swimming this year, under fewer restrictions. We look forward to receiving and acting on your feedback.
Sent on behalf of
David Roe, Chairman of Trustees
Unfortunately, it is now unlikely that the rebuilding of the changing rooms will be complete in time for the pool to re-open on 1 April, as we had hoped. Following delays and re-planning we are now looking to be able to re-open by early May. Please check on the website towards the end of April for confirmation of this.
The main delay was due to the need take into account the roots of the large oak tree. This required a time-consuming tree survey and a redesign of the changing room foundations. There were also delays caused by the lack of availability of the arboriculturist to sign off the changes before work could start. On top of this, the specialist foundations firm commissioned to carry out the construction of the foundations were unable to start work until January, as before Christmas key members of their team went down with Covid.
Whilst the delays are regrettable, we must emphasise that they are in no way down to Rob Arrow Builders, the main building contractors, who are now pulling out all the stops to complete the work as soon as possible. Please remember that in the past we did not open until the beginning of May, and that opening in April last year for the first time was a bonus. We should, nevertheless, be able to keep the pool open well into October this year and then revert to the extended April to October swimming season from next year. We hope the delay does not inconvenience members too much and look forward to welcoming you all back to enjoy using the pool by early May.
Many thanks for your forbearance. David Roe. Chairman