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Santa Clara’s Aging Pools Require Off-Season Maintenance

Santa Clara’s Parks Department was forced to shut down a pair of the City’s pools in March for maintenance. City officials say with several pools over 50 years old it’s going to happen.

The City shut down the Mary Gomez Pool early in March because of a pipe break that caused a leak. By March 18, the pool was back online.

City staff also had to deal with maintenance issues at the International Swim Center (ISC) that affected the 50-meter pool and the training pool.


“That facility is over 50 years old,” said Santa Clara’s Director of Parks and Recreation, James Teixeira. “It’s aged infrastructure, so the pump and the motor are sized for the 1960s. When we had an issue with the impeller we had to order a new motor and pump.”

The parts arrived on the week of March 25 and maintenance crews immediately went to work. During the shutdown, the City also conducted routine maintenance that was already on the schedule for the end of March.

Teixeira says the City is ready to open all of its seasonal pools in the summer.

“We open our season pools for the summer, we’re on track to do that,” said Teixeira. “Montague — out next to Montague School at Montague Park — that will open for the summer. Mary Gomez is currently open, but there will be additional daytime programs because the kids will be out of school. Warburton — that’s also in Warburton Park — that one will be open.”

“We continue to operate and maintain on a daily basis,” said Teixeira. “We have staff who are certified pool operators and aquatic facility operators who do daily testing of the water and they also go into the mechanical rooms and make sure that the chemicals are mixing properly.”

The City of Santa Clara maintains 11 pools at five park sites. The newest of those pools, the Natatorium at the Senior Center on Fremont Street is more than a decade old. While the oldest, the three pools at the ISC, were built between 1964 and 1967.

Assistant City Manager Manuel Pineda says as of right now there’s no funding, so the City will continue to operate and maintain the facilities as needed but they cannot remodel without additional funds.

“There has been discussion in the past about redoing the International Swim Center,” said Pineda. “As part of last year’s discussions with the Council, we looked at the opportunity of an infrastructure bond. That infrastructure bond included funding for a reconstruction of the swim center. That did not move forward and at some point additional discussions will occur.”


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