Come mid-July you’d never be able to find yourself 15 feet at the bottom of Centennial Beach, but there’s a lot of work to be done down there before this place can be swimming with visitors.
“We actually start the process in March, we first drain the beach, the quarry, get it all cleaned up, we spray the walls down, wash them all down, get it all clear and then once we have it all clear we start the actual maintenance process,” said Andrea Coates, Facility Manager for Centennial Beach.
Because the beach was once a site for the quarrying of limestone, there’s a bit of a different method to prepping the pool.
“You get all your chemical feeds ready and when your ready to start filling you chlorinate and we add algaecide to the water. We like to consider it a different kind of experience; when you come in you’ll notice it’s not crystal blue water, it’s more of a lake setting,” said Coates.
The makeup of the land also creates some natural occurrences that you can’t find at just any pool.
“The facility itself is not even, some walls jet out more than others. There’s a corner where we have a little bit of water coming in, that’s basically the ground water coming in. Once we fill, that ground water stops because it becomes even with the river and the ground, but it seeps in until that point. So it’s empty now, but if you come back in the morning it’ll be filled with water, that’s just a natural thing,” said Coates.
But the special setting does also come with some different risks. Special precautions are taken for lifeguards to ensure all visitors swim safely.
“We have the lifelines at the bottom to help us, they’re a grid pattern if we ever need to use them to give them a sense of where they are in the facility down here in the quarry. Now that it’s empty it’s one thing, when you add water to it it’s completely different so that gives them an idea where they’re at the bottom,” said Coates.
Once the maintenance is complete, it’s time to fill; that will take nearly ten days and 6.2 million gallons of water.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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