(Delridge Playfield wading pool, photographed last year)
Recalling last summer’s West Seattle wading-pool controversy, we’ve been checking with Seattle Parks and Recreation from time to time, inquiring about this year’s plan for the city-run wading pools. Last week, we were told news was imminent. Never did get an announcement, but the 2009 schedule has now turned up on the Parks website — without fanfare or announcements, even though it includes some rather dramatic news we don’t recall hearing before: 11 of the city’s 25 wading pools will not open at all this year, while 8 others will open later than usual, explained by the city in the schedule document as follows:
… because of the need to complete federally required safety improvements required by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law in December 2008, requires that all owners of pools and spas install specified new drain covers and second anti-entrapment systems to protect swimmers from possible injury or death caused by getting caught in pool drains. Because of the nationwide demand for the drain covers and anti-entrapment systems and the skilled labor required to install them, there are delays in the work all over the country.
As a result, here’s the plan for West Seattle’s wading pools (although the city cautions that this schedule could slide depending on how the work goes):
*Lincoln Park will open at the start of the season, June 20 (11 am-8 pm daily)
*Delridge Playfield will open July 8 (noon-7 pm daily)
*Hiawatha Playfield will open July 20 (noon-7 pm daily)
*E.C. Hughes Playground will open July 27 (noon-7 pm daily)
*Highland Park will not open this year at all
Note that all four of the West Seattle wading pools that will be open this year are scheduled to be open seven days a week – last year’s controversy involved the fact that only Lincoln Park and Hiawatha, both in western West Seattle, were open on Sundays, while Delridge, Hughes and Highland Park were closed Sundays; three weeks after we first reported on a community campaign to convince Parks to open Delridge on Sundays, the department agreed to do it for the rest of the year. Back to this year: This document has full details on the wading-pool situation citywide. Also note, Southwest Pool is open this summer, unlike last year when it was undergoing renovations; and Colman Pool, the saltwater outdoor swimming facility on the Lincoln Park shore, is scheduled to start its season this Saturday.