Hidden Pumps To Clear Waters In Ocean Baths Upgrade

Council has about a month to lock in a contract for pump upgrades at Newcastle Ocean Baths.

The vital step in the renewal project will see a new system installed to the north of the iconic pump house, which is being retained as a heritage feature.

Half a dozen options were considered before a final wet well structure was chosen, set to be located underground with only the pump station access lids visible.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said while it was a less visible part of the Stage 1 work, once constructed the three new submersible pump sets will dramatically cut the time it takes to clean and service the baths.

“Currently the pool is operated by being filled and drained once a week with no or limited circulated water in-between when the oceans are calm, as is often the case during peak-use periods in summer,” Cr Clausen said.

“A new pump system with capacity to turn the pool water over in six hours will significantly improve water quality and clarity.”

Council’s Acting Director of Infrastructure and Property, Joanne Rigby, said it will massively reduce the rate at which the equipment needs to be switched out as well.

“Currently we need to replace the pumps every three months, however, we expect to get up to six years of life from the new pump system,” Ms Rigby said.

It will also be safer for maintenance teams, who will have the ability to operate the pump system remotely, minimising the need to access the infrastructure which can be a dangerous task.

“In the current location in large swell events, it can be hazardous or just not possible,” Ms Rigby said.

Upgrades to the promenades and the pools themselves are also being considered in this stage of the project, with the upper concourse and pavilion building to be included later on in Stage 2.

Councillors will decide on a head contractor at the next Ordinary Meeting on October 26

                                                                                              Concept plans for the upgrade