Tue, 26 Jun 2018
THE hugely popular outdoor swimming pool at Northcroft Leisure Centre will open on Saturday, July 7.
The lido, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, will be open for early morning swimmers from 7:15am until 8:45am.
It will then open from 11am until 7pm on weekdays and from 10am until 6pm on weekends and bank holidays.
Visitors can stay as long as they like and many people choose to arrive early and make a day of it.
A statement from West Berkshire Council read: “Often people ask us why we doesn’t open the lido either earlier in the year or all year round.
"The lido is really old and the current structure dates back to the 1920s.
“It is built in a flood plain and is fed by a bore hole, licensed by the Environment Agency, and has limits on the amount of water which can be extracted for the pool each year.
“Water is retained in the pool over the winter months to keep the structure stable and counteract the pressure from the ground water.
Each year the pool is emptied and inspected to ensure that it is safe to open. However, this can only be done once the ground water level surrounding the pool is lower than the pool structure.
“This level, despite the lovely sunny weather, has only just been reached. Emptying it earlier would mean an increased risk that the pool structure could be compromised.
“Owing to its age, there are always repairs to be done as leaks appear where the ground moves over the winter period.
“Once these repair works have been done, the pool takes 10 days to fill. The water is then treated and heated ready for opening.”
Dominic Boeck, the council's portfolio holder for culture, said: “It is always frustrating when we have lovely weather but are unable to open the lido. We understand why residents are disappointed when this happens.
“We do get the pool open as quickly as we can but there are so many factors involved in doing so beyond our control.
“Unfortunately, owing to the lido’s age, repairs are inevitable each year, costly and reliant on the ground water levels being lower than the bottom of the pool.
“Now the pool is nearly open for 2018, I hope the weather is kind to allow people to enjoy it over the summer.”