Upgraded Benwood Pool Losing Water

Benwood officials discovered Friday morning the city pool was losing water despite $35,000 in upgrades over the winter, and they weren’t certain as of late Friday afternoon whether the pool would be ready to open for the season Monday.

The pool had initially been slated to open Memorial Day weekend, but extreme weather this year delayed work in the off months to make needed repairs to the pool. Benwood invested about $35,000 in improvements to the pool, which included the welding of a new gutter system around the pool and updates to its plumbing and electrical system.

Benwood officials rescheduled the pool’s opening for Monday, and it was filled with water Thursday in preparation for the first day of swimming.

But pool manager John Varner and city Public Works Coordinator Jon Howard discovered Friday morning the pool had lost nine inches of water overnight, and Howard began to assess the source of the leak. Mayor Ed Kuca also arrived at the scene.

At first, the group believed the upgrades to the pool’s plumbing system created a greater amount of water pressure that forced a crack in its main intake pipe, a pipe original to the pool when it was constructed in 1973.

“The older line may have been broken because of the added pressure,” Kuca said.

In the afternoon, Howard had city workers break the concrete around the intake pipe and dig it up to see if it was the source of the water leak. The workers then determined water was actually getting between the new gutter system, Varner said.

They were assessing options Friday evening on how best to remedy the water loss and get the pool open.