February B&G Update: Part 1

The board volunteers for Building & Grounds (B&G) worked hard to make behind-the-scenes improvements in the clubhouse and pump house during the 2020-2021 off-season. While members may rarely see the areas under improvement, these types of projects are crucial to keeping our club operating smoothly for decades to come.

In Part 1, we review some of the work in the pump house. In Part 2 (to be posted later), we’ll look at the clubhouse basement.

Pump House

Some of the most interesting projects have taken place in the pump house. As detailed in the latter portion of projects completed in 2020, we installed a new garage door, made roof repairs, and completed several other clean-up tasks.

Two larger projects, however, were completed in early 2021.

Decking and Railing

The original metal deck (presumably original from 1967) was at the end of its service life, and we concluded that replacement was necessary before further degradation occurred.

We determined that we needed better protection surrounding the surge tank (open water) and the lower level to improve safety. We would also add railing to the ship ladder, which provides access to the lower level.

Lee Contracting was brought in to survey the site. They ultimately provided the design, fabrication, and installation of all new and refurbished materials. We replaced the metal deck with yellow fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), which provides:

  • Excellent durability against exposure to moisture and corrosive chemicals.
  • Improved airflow and light to the lower level.
  • The ability to see through to the operations below – important for the surge tank.

Instead of replacing the old railing around the surge tank, we determined that the floor should extend over the surge tank. This would be cost-effective, safe, and would maximize the space within the pump house. A pull-up hatch was added (outlined in black) for maintenance access to the tank.

The ship ladder was removed and fully refurbished. The fabrication group added a handrail for safe passage to the lower level. We installed a locking gate and railing adjacent to the stairs to prevent accidental falls to the lower level. All metal surfaces were hot-dip galvanized for long-term resistance to corrosion and rust. A removable grate over the end portion of the stairs provides a platform for boiler maintenance.

New Floor (View From Door)

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A view of the new floor (and piping) on January 11th, 2021.

The improvements to the pump house ensure that all staff and members can perform regular duties in a safe environment.

Piping

The piping in the pump house needed to be replaced for many reasons. The condition, past materials used, and pipe mounts were all less than optimal. When asked, one expert identified the pump house piping as the “thing that would keep them up at night”.

We also hired Lee Contracting for pipe fitting. A large portion of the existing 6-inch patchwork PVC was replaced with stronger Schedule 80 pipe, properly secured, and we replaced all associated fixtures and mounts. We corrected issues with a prior installation of copper pipe, then installed new flanges and a butterfly valve (for water diversion to the boiler). We replaced loose-hanging black pipes (slide water feeds) with properly secured copper pipes. A new stainless steel water pump for the slides replaced the old cast iron model.

The water feed to the surge tank was replaced with all new piping, providing both automatic and manual fill options. An eyewash station was installed and connected. The eyewash station is a crucial safety item, given the regular handling of corrosive chemicals for pool water maintenance.

Finally, we installed a new sump pump to replace the 15+ year old unit still in service (beginning to show failure).

In review, the work corrected numerous issues with the prior installation. It fixed leaks and reduced the likelihood of future failures. We expect the work performed to last for decades without the need for significant maintenance.

What’s Next

There are still a handful of minor projects for the pump house that will be completed this spring:

  • A thorough cleaning, once city water is available.
  • New shelving for chemical storage, as needed.
  • Miscellaneous electrical work.
  • Labeling of all pipes, to identify purpose and flow direction.
  • Improved installation of the Chemtrol pool controller, to be more accessible for the operator.
  • Installation of a new thermowell (for temperature sensing), a paddle wheel flow meter, pressure sensors and a depth sensor for enhanced monitoring. This will be detailed in a separate article, later.

Learn More

We analyzed the entire pump house, and we created a process flow diagram.

Questions? Reach out to B&G via the Contact Us page.

We’re considering offering tours of the overhauled pump house this summer. Stay tuned for further details.