Keeping our communities “in the swim” this summer

09 Dec 2022

For many communities across Aotearoa New Zealand, the local community pool plays a big role in their summer fun — and in South Auckland, it’s no different. Ensuring the district’s eight swimming pool facilities are in tip-top order falls to a dedicated team of people from across Citycare Property’s facilities maintenance services.

Electricians, HVAC technicians, carpenters and plumbers have just two weeks at each facility to complete an annual programme of scheduled repairs and other building maintenance tasks before the season kicks off.

Prior to shutting down a facility, the Citycare Property team meets with stakeholders to discuss any issues that need addressing, whether there's anything needing to be upgraded and whether it can be done in the timeframe of the shutdown.

Citycare Property carpenters work on completing the total refit of the centre’s two saunas.

Essential behind-the-scenes work

Recently, the team completed a pool shutdown at the Ōtara Pool and Leisure Centre, which saw a total renovation of the facility’s saunas and changing rooms, along with HVAC, electrical and plumbing maintenance.

“Our carpentry team had a big job this year, as the two saunas were completely stripped back to the studs and rebuilt, including wall linings and seats. The changing rooms, too, were stripped back and completely repainted, and all seating removed and refinished prior to being replaced,” says Structures Serviceperson, Matt Davey.

Electrical systems, beginning with emergency lighting, were given a thorough inspection to ensure all components, especially those in ‘wet areas’ were safe and free from any form of corrosion. All plugs and RCDs were tested and all lights and fittings checked. The team also ensured that all of the saunas’ components were up to standard.

A bank of fresh air filters — that had been removed and deep cleaned — are the first line of defence in ensuring the air entering the AHUs is free of any harmful particulates.

Ensuring a healthy internal environment

One of the larger projects carried out during any pool shutdown is servicing of the HVAC systems. This includes a complete refurbishment of the air handling units (AHUs), which means the removal, cleaning and where necessary, replacement, of the air filters. A thorough clean is also carried out on the units’ housing.

Running concurrently to all of this is the work being carried out by Citycare Property’s plumbing team, whose job it is to check all plumbing fixtures and fittings for any faults, as well as checking the pools for any possible leaks or fails. Other plumbing works include the replacement of all drinking fountain filters and checking/adjusting hot water temperatures to the basins and showers.

The maze of plumbing works that feed the centre’s various systems including the showers, potable water and pools.

Given its size and the amenities on offer at the Ōtara Pool and Leisure Centre, spaces such as the gymnasium and indoor stadium were required to stay open during the pool closure, which meant some of the works being carried out were within a ‘live site’. Strict adherence to health and safety practices, along with proven experience working to such conditions meant that the project was carried out on time and without incident, ensuring the centre will be ready for the summer-loving public.