Looking Back at 2023

It’s been more than a year since our last update – actually, that’s only partially true. Regardless, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

B&G didn’t post updates as often as we would have liked in 2023. Life is busy, and priorities shift. To make matters worse, we lost all of our website posts at some point last year. We’ve managed to restore everything prior to January 2023, but it seems that a couple of later posts have been lost forever.

Below, we’ll attempt to revisit what was lost and provide updates on never-posted topics.

Water Main Failure

A flooded parking lot. Observe the water bubbling up from the cracks.

In early April, a water main failure under the parking lot kicked off our pool opening with an unforeseen challenge. Sometime after turning on the water gate valve, we received a voicemail from Livonia DPW; they turned off our water due to a reported leak. Further investigation revealed that we had a significant problem on our hands.

We contacted the city to assist with marking the approximate location of the pipe. Once Miss Dig completed the utility markings, we hired an asphalt cutter and dug up a small portion of the lot.

From there, the project didn’t go exactly as planned. The pipe we expected to be 5 feet deep was closer to 14 feet deep. The city’s markings (perhaps skewed by the depth of the pipe) were nearly 20 feet off. As a result, far more of the parking lot was removed, and a far bigger mess was made.

Eventually, we were able to locate and repair the pipe. The water was turned on, and the hole backfilled. Due to the exceptional depth of the hole, extra time to allow for settling (before the parking lot could be resurfaced) was required.

We fully expect the lot to be repaired this spring (2024) well in advance of opening day.

Searching for the Pipe

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We hired a concrete cutting contractor to cut out a neat area in the lot - hopefully allowing us to drop back in portions of the asphalt. Unfortunately, the job quickly turned into an extensive search, as the water main was nowhere near the markings provided to us - and as we found out later - it was about three times as deep as expected.

Capital Projects

A complete list of capital projects is available on the 2023 Improvement Projects page. Here, we’ll focus on some key projects to provide more context and detail.

The document below was presented to the board early in 2023 during planning sessions. We’re including this document to show how much effort the board makes to spend club money wisely.

  • We saved about $5,606 in labor and materials by shopping suppliers and performing all labor in-house for the filter sand replacement (more details on this project below).
  • We negotiated additional price reductions on the Funbrella canvas (about 15%).
  • The concrete replacement cost about $1,300 less than the original estimate.
  • Labor was performed in-house wherever possible.

There were also savings in non-capital areas, such as ordering pool chemicals. We saved nearly $1,000 by seeking multiple sources despite an 18% year-over-year increase in our initial chemical quote!

Filter Sand Replacement

We knew sand replacement for the pool filter tanks would be required in 2023. The sand is only “rated” to last 5-10 years, and following the pool renovation (which clogged the sand with plaster dust), it was a necessity. Quoted by a third party, the job would cost nearly seven thousand dollars. We were sure we could do it for much less.

The job involved many hours of manual labor over several days. The sand was removed from the tanks via a custom shop vac and cyclone tank system (thanks, Jason). This was a tedious, messy job. Components were removed and replaced through an impossibly small opening at the top. New sand was hauled and poured into the tanks.

We found the water consistently more clear during the 2023 season than in previous years. The new finer-grade sand is much more effective at keeping our pool water crystal-clear.

Inside the Dirty Filter Tank

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A look inside the dirty filter tank, with leaves and other debris present.

Pool Gutter Grate Replacement

We’re not sure when the gutter system was installed on the pool. Unfortunately, our written records are less than optimal. The best we can tell is that this was done in the mid-90s.

The white PVC (plastic) grates that cover the gutters are slowly deteriorating. Many were broken during the pool renovation. Replacement is difficult, as these particular grates are no longer made. Alternatives exist but are costly and do not match the original grates.

After some research and significant design effort, followed by countless failures, adjustments, and re-tries, we determined that 3D-printed grates could be a viable solution. We’ve installed dozens, and they seem to work well.

Installed 3D-Printed Grates

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An example of three separate 3D-printed grates installed into the pool gutter tray. These grates are designed to mechanically mate with the existing grates (using a hole-and-peg system). Unfortunately, they don't blend well color-wise; the old grates are not particularly white anymore!

This is a complex topic – and likely one that’d bring far too much detail to this article. In a future article, we hope to dive deeper into the 3D-printed pool gutter grate saga.

Diving Board Stand

We know it was disappointing to start the 2023 season without a diving board – but we believe it was worth the wait. We sent the entire stand to a local sandblast and powder coat shop. As far as we can tell, this was the first time this had been done since the stand was installed (presumably in the late 60’s).

The stand arrived back to us well before opening, but it took much longer to source all the replacement hardware for re-assembly. While taking the stand apart for refinishing, we determined that most nuts and bolts needed replacing. Some of these parts were challenging to source as they’re made of aluminum (not stocked at your local big-box home improvement retailer or hardware store).

With a new concrete pad in place, we needed to install new mounting rods. Once in place, we painted all aluminum hardware with color-matched touch-up paint to protect the metal from exposure to the pool water.

Measuring for Installation - 1 of 2

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Measurements being made to install the refurbished diving board stand onto the new concrete pad.

Concrete Replacement

(details to follow)