GLEN ROSE – First it was deemed unsafe, then closed, then opened, then closed for up to a week for repairs, and then opened again less than 24 hours later. Despite the recent confusion, the “Plunge” at Oakdale Park is open for business.
The “urgent” issue that caused the closure was first brought to the Glen Rose City Council’s attention during its regular monthly meeting in April. According Glen Rose Mayor Sam Moody, the chlorine gas system that was still being utilized in the pool as of Tuesday, June 21 had been prohibited in public pools since 2003.
Moody confirmed that the council approved the funding to replace the system during a special session held May 25 after being “apprised of the safety and prohibition issues regarding the chlorine gas tanks.”
An Oakdale employee confirmed the parts for the new system arrived Tuesday, June 21 and was informed that repairs were to begin the following day.
“The chlorine system is under construction,” Glen Rose City Administrator Chester Nolen said on the morning of Wednesday, June 22. “We are anticipating that it will be back on line by next week. I do not have a firm day, but it will be open as soon as possible.”
Luckily, and a bit surprisingly, “as soon as possible” meant 10 a.m. Friday, June 24.
“All repairs and installations are complete and ready to go,” Nolen confirmed Thursday morning.
For residents of Somervell County, the pool’s return to full operational and safety standards means the return of the City of Glen Rose’s annual “Splash Day” celebration.
The free celebration, originally slated for Memorial Day weekend, will now take place Monday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It was [originally] decided that the pool would open on schedule for ‘Splash Day’ on Memorial Day weekend,” Moody said. “Following the Memorial Day holiday the pool would then be closed to prep the pool area for installation of the new chlorination system.
“Unfortunately, heavy rainfall just prior to ‘Splash Day’ caused chemical levels in the pool to be way below acceptable standards. Park staff could not bring the levels to acceptable safe standards so the pool could not be opened for ‘Splash Day.’”
The Plunge, which will turn 91 years old in August, was originally a sulphur-and-mineral pool first dug out with a horse and mule, according to the Oakdale Park website.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith