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Drought Puts Wake Forest Pool in Jeopardy

Posted March 21, 2008
Updated March 24, 2008

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— The only public pool in town could remain empty this summer if drought conditions don't ease in the next month, officials said Friday.

Wake Forest commissioners said they would decide by May 1 whether to keep the Holding Park pool closed for the summer in an effort to conserve water during the drought.

"This is not a decision we approached happily nor with a smile on our faces," Commissioner Peter Thibodeau said.

Built in the 1940s, the 50-meter pool holds 245,000 gallons, and commissioners said they couldn't see filling it – and adding about 6,000 gallons a day to it to keep it full – when the region continues to see extreme drought conditions.

Water restrictions put in place last month by Raleigh – Wake Forest is part of Raleigh's municipal water system – prevent the use of city water for filling pools that had been drained for the winter. Raleigh has decided to use water recaptured after flushing mains and hydrants to fill three pools, but Wake Forest Commissioner Margaret Stinnett said that wouldn't work for Holding Pool.

"(Where are we going to) find someone that's going to flush 245,000 gallons of water to fill this pool?" Stinnett asked.

The pool usually opens at the beginning of June and closes at the end of August. Commissioners said it wouldn't be cost-effective to operate it only part of the season, which is why they've set a May 1 deadline to decide whether to open it this summer.

The prospect of a summer without outdoor swimming has upset some local residents.

"There are just too many families that don't have other options available to them," Jessica Willson said.

"I feel it's a shame, and maybe they should try other ways (to fill it)," Lynda DiFrancesco said.

Commissioner Frank Drake said he and his colleagues hope Mother Nature will intervene in the coming weeks and make their decision easier.

"(Summer at the pool is) really hopping. This whole paved area is covered with kids," Drake said.

15 Comments

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  • MarcoPolo Mar 21, 2008

    It's about citizen behavior control by crazy politicians.

  • MarcoPolo Mar 21, 2008

    I not so sure the drought ever started. Sometimes it rains...sometimes it doesn't.

    There is a consistent lack of water managment. Remember when they were dumping water in 06. My god....they were dumping millions upon millions of gallons from the lake per day in 07.

    This is just a way to stick it to the taxpayers. You can expect a higher water bill as a result....that's the reason for the "drought".

  • gratefultoGOD Mar 21, 2008

    ridiculous! KIDS need a place to go.. and something to do. That is how vandalism starts.. with being bored! They can cut other places.... it's not THAT much H20!

  • Fuquay Resident Mar 21, 2008

    It's not WF's fault, they buy their water from Raleigh and Raleigh is the one who sets the rules.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Mar 21, 2008

    I agree that the drought may not be officially over but the lakes are either close to full or over full so this is a bit ridiculous on Wake Forest's part...

  • jackadoo Mar 21, 2008

    hondaman...Raleigh uses 40 million gals of water per DAY. 6,000 gpd is peanuts. I don't even care to do the math for you. You can expect more vandalism and other bad bevavior if these kids cannot swim.

  • Fuquay Resident Mar 21, 2008

    If it takes 6000 gallons of water a day to keep the pool full, then it must have some leaks. I don't think that much water get evaporated or splashed out each day.

  • brian2380 Mar 21, 2008

    Go to Falls Pond, I hear the puddles are great!

  • BULLDOZER Mar 21, 2008

    First, THERE IS NO DROUGHT.
    Second, the pool obviously has major leaks. Fix them, fill it and go.
    Be gone with all this drought talk. We are through it. We have all learned how to do with less, now let's get our freedoms back and use of water.

  • areyou.serious Mar 21, 2008

    "extreme drought conditions" ???

    I'm tired of all this rain... Didn't the experts tell us that if we got all 10 inches of the rain deficit in one storm it still wouldn't fill the lake? Past 2 weeks we've got about 4 inches and the lake is now less than 2 feet below normal. (And Jordan Lake is almost 3 feet above normal)

    The drought is over!
    Everyone's grass is green, the ground has been wet for 4 weeks.
    Am I wrong? Will someone please define what a drought is?

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