$55,000 to bring pool up to code
While smaller outdoor pools in the area may only have to pay around $1,000 to be up to code with a new federal law, Dickinson's estimates are still much, much more.
The outdoor North Pool in Dickinson will cost at least $55,000 to bring up to code, Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer said. The pools at the West River Community Center will cost around $16,000, he added.
The law requires public pools to have drain covers that prevent the possibility of entrapment said Kevin Pavlish, environmental health practitioner for Southwest District Health Unit. Pavlish said the Southwest District Health Unit, which conducts yearly inspections with area outdoor pools, will also be checking to make sure pools are up to code with the new law.
Killdeer City Auditor Dawn Marquardt said it will cost about $1,000 for drain covers for their city Pool. She said the cost may increase if they have to do more renovating.
Todd Fitterer, a member of the New England Park Board, said it will cost between $1,200 and $1,700 for drain covers at the city's pool. He did not expect any additional costs.
Kramer said the cost to bring the North Pool up to code is much higher since it's at least 60 years old and has had little renovation.
"The older pools that are out there, their drain pipes are too close to the bottom of these drain covers and, as a result, they have to literally dig these drain pipes up and lower the pipe," Pavlish said.
Doug Jaeger of Associated Pool Builders in Bismarck --where the Park District is getting their pool equipment -- said Dickinson's North Pool drain must be dug up and replaced. He said the $55,000 will cover the cost of replacing the drains and drain covers in the pool and wading pool at the North Pool. It will also replace the mechanical system in the wading pool.
Costs could increase once they dig into the drains Jaeger said. He added because of the age of the pool, any number of other problems could be found in the process.
Pavlish said the law may require some pools replace more than just drain covers.
"In addition to that, the swimming pools have to install a valve in their plumbing lines that if it detects a blockage in the system ... it would automatically shut the system down," Pavlish said.
Mott Park Board President Gerrie Jacobson said they just have to replace the covers on the city pool, though she is unsure how much they cost.
Beach pool manager Janie Rathbun said their city pool will not have to replace anything.
"We had talked about that with our contractor and everything was done up to snuff (when the pool was built)," Rathbun said, adding the pool is about 12 years old.
Jaeger said while it's possible some pools may be in compliance without having to purchase any new equipment, he said most pools have "a very limited chance of being up to code."
Jaeger and Pavlish said the cost to make pools compliant depends on each pool's conditions and designs.
Jaeger said the cost to replace the drain covers at the WRCC is so high because of the large number of drains which are also large in size. Kramer said there are about nine drains at the WRCC.
Officials in Medora and Belfield are unsure whether their city pools are up to code, or what they have to do to make the facilities compliant.
Bonnie Streitz, Medora pool manager and Andy Prociw of the Belfield Park Board said they are trying to schedule assessments of their facilities. Both are hoping to have assessments done by next week.