Hawkesbury council may be looking at either an unexpected addition to this year’s recreation budget or something to consider for next year’s budget. The waterslide that replaced the diving board at the indoor municipal pool in the Robert Hartley Sports Complex does not pass inspection and needs replacing.
The waterslide was inspected in February this year and a report from the recreation department to council states that the waterslide “should not be in use and is not lawful to operate as a water slide in Ontario.”
The recreation department report’s recommendation is to remove the water slide and make plans for a replacement that meets provincial inspection standards. The estimated cost to dismantle the structure is $2500. The potential cost for a new one is estimated at $100,000.
The recreation department report summarized the history behind the imperfect waterslide.
In 2014 there was approval to replace the three-metre diving board at the indoor pool with a water slide. After researching the situation, the recreation department ordered a “made to measure” structure in 2015 from Aquam Aquatics Specialists Inc.
When the disassembled waterslide arrived in September 2015, the maintenance department was told to put it together. The report stated that the two staff members told to assemble the waterslide refused “stating that they did not feel they had the experience to install specialized equipment.” Two general labourers were then assigned to assemble the structure, following the detailed directions provided by Aquam Aquatics.
“Prior to allowing the public to use the water slide,” stated the report, “tests were undergone by the staff. There were some installation issues that were reported due to safety concerns, such as excessive swaying of the slide and users getting stuck in the tube, as there was no water supply.”
The problems noted were fixed with the addition of more supports for the waterslide and also some fixtures that were not part of the original package of parts from Aquam Aquatics. At the time the need for an inspection of the structure was deemed “not necessary.”
Then in December 2019 maintenance department and some of the aquatic centre staff received the Certified Pool Operator certification. Recreation Director Nicole Trudeau was told then that provincial regulations demanded a maintenance inspection of the water slide by a certified waterslide mechanic.
The waterslide failed its inspection in February 2020. The inspection report suggested it should be moved to a municipal park instead. The recreation department will check first whether or not the waterslide would meet the standards for park equipment.