MIAMISBURG, Ohio – The City of Miamisburg has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2024 swimming season at the Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center, Miamisburg’s public pool that has been in operation since 1997. The decision follows months of effort to make critical repairs to piping infrastructure within the facility, which have proven unsuccessful. “This is a difficult decision for the City. We are very proud of our history of public swimming opportunities for the community and recognize the impact the Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center has in making summer in Miamisburg special” said City Manager, Keith Johnson.
In the fall of 2022, after noting an increase water usage for the facility, staff began working with industry experts to video test lines, pressure test lines, replace parts, identify sources of water loss and make repairs. This effort led to the repair of seven areas in the piping system, which was believed to be the source of water loss. It was not until May, 2023 that it was learned these repairs were unsuccessful. When filling the pool for the 2023 season, staff again noted increased water usage for the facility. Having already committed to passholders, staff, community swim associations, and residents, the decision was made to continue with the 2023 season, while monitoring water loss for adverse impacts to the water system and to the public. According to Ryan Davis, Parks and Recreation Director, “We were prepared to close the facility at a moment’s notice, if there were conditions that negatively impacted the water system, the public or the facility as a whole. We were constantly monitoring the conditions, but prioritized offering this community amenity to the public, as long as we were able to.” While the 2023 season was underway, the City contracted with American Leak Detectors, based out of Louisville, KY, widely recognized as the industry leader in identifying and correcting water loss in pools.
Staff from American Leak Detectors performed tests throughout the 2023 season to identify potential locations of water loss. Immediately following the 2023 season, work began to excavate and repair leaking pipes. This work identified six additional areas with significant breaks, cracks or joint failure within the piping infrastructure. Upon investigation, multiple joints within the piping systems showed signs of glue failure, where the compounds used to join pipe segments together were failing, throughout the mechanical system. After these significant repairs were made, the decision was made to fill the pool to gauge water loss. From October 28 through November 4, staff operated the pool and monitored water usage. Unfortunately, this test showed that the facility was losing more water than the average loss observed during the 2023 season. This indicated an ongoing, system-wide pipe failure was occurring, and previous repairs only increased pressure within the system, leading to additional breaks and leaks. As a result of the system-wide failure, a significant portion of the pipes will need replaced in order to responsibly operate the facility moving forward.
Michelle Collins, Miamisburg’s Mayor stated “It’s important to note that the water loss experienced at the pool last season did not adversely impact the water system, nor were any costs passed along to residents. Water rates did not increase in 2023. We understand any significant water loss is not sustainable, which is why we have made the decision now, to prioritize the repair and/or redesign of the facility, to ensure we can offer this amenity to the public, while being responsible stewards of taxpayer resources, both funds and water. Miamisburg has had a public pool in this community since 1937. We sustained a few years without a pool during the transition from the “old pool” in Community Park to its current location, and we anticipate a similar transition as we develop the best solution for the future of the community.”
The City has released a Request for Professional Services for Pool Design, Planning, Architecture & Engineering Services. The initial phase of planning will be to work with a professional engineering, planning or design firm to evaluate the costs and feasibility of pipe replacement within the facility, as well as evaluating facility re-design concept plans, costs and timelines.