The Batavia Park District is soliciting bids for fixing Harold Hall Quarry Beach.
The park board gave staff the go-ahead to do so this week. Bids are due Aug. 10 and the board expects to award a contract Aug. 23. It hopes to start work in September and finish in November.
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The plan is to install a rubberlike geotextile membrane in the subsurface of the swimming area, and a concrete-based liner in the diving area. They will also install a new groundwater drainage system, to prevent heavy off-season rains from getting under the liners and causing them to bubble up.
"That would be a very bad thing," said Jim Eby, the district's planning and development director.
The work is intended to keep water from leaking out of the basin. Doing so should keep the water warmer. Park district officials have estimated the Quarry loses about 25 percent -- or 250,000 gallons -- of its water every day, much of it through fractures in the rock of the former limestone quarry. The loss started in 2004, when a nearby dam on the adjacent Fox River was removed, causing river levels to drop below that of the Quarry. Water pumped in to the Quarry comes in at about 58 degrees. Swimmers have complained about unpleasantly cold water, especially for children taking swimming lessons in the morning.
The project must be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which regulates pools and beaches. According to its website, the wait time on project review is at about eight weeks.
Board President Patrick Callahan suggested the district take still pictures of the work for a time-lapse display of the progress on its website.
An engineering report about Quarry Beach is available on the district's website, bataviaparks.org.