Shuttered Mabel Davis pool leaking 220,000 gallons

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- The summer swim season is here, but in Austin, the Parks and Recreation Department is being forced to close several pools due to extensive leaks. Shipe, Govalle and Givens pool will remain closed through the summer. Because temporary repairs were too costly, city officials have allocated $3 million for both Shipe and Govalle to be completely rebuilt for the summer of 2018. Both pools are currently in the design phase.

This week maintenance crews are working to figure out why Mabel Davis pool is leaking. The city closed it several weeks ago when they started to fill it up for the swim season and discovered it was leaking 220,000 of its 600,000 gallons each day.

"Extensive testing has to take place before we can determine the scope of work and repairs for that facility," said Aquatics Manager Jodi Jay. "It's still unknown as to when we can get those repairs completed."

The hope is it can be as simple as pulling up some of the pool floor and patching the leaks. The goal is to reopen this summer.

On Tuesday, the parks department decided to temporarily close Rosewood Pool in East Austin for unexpected maintenance. City officials say paint from the bottom of the pool is causing the water to cloud, making it hard for lifeguards to see. The pool is expected to reopen in 10 days. Swimmers can use Dottie Jordan Pool which is opening earlier than expected to accommodate residents.

City officials say the reason leaks are a common theme is because most of the city's pools are about 50-years-old and the average lifespan of a pool is about 25 years.

The city did say, however, they have hired 500 lifeguards for the 2017 season. They are hoping to hire 250 more.

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