Batavia swimmers will be able to take a dip in a fixed-up Quarry Beach pool Friday -- a pool that should leak less and be considerably warmer.
The district began filling the basin at Harold Hall Quarry Beach about two weeks ago, said Jim Eby, Batavia Park District planning and development director. At the end of last week, water temperature reached 69 degrees.
That's less than the ideal minimum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit that swimmers find comfortable. But for this time of year, "We're pretty pleased," Eby said. "This is really good for the Quarry."
The district relined the basin last fall, putting a rubberlike geotextile membrane in the swimming area and a concrete liner in the diving area. The project was intended to reduce water leaking out of the bottom. The district said that when the state removed the South Dam on the adjacent Fox River in 2004, that caused the river level to drop, making it lower than the Quarry's bottom. Cracks and fissures beneath the Quarry's degraded liner started leaking water to the river. The district estimated that between leaks and evaporation, it was losing about 25 percent of the Quarry's water every day, or 250,000 gallons. It was hard to keep the Quarry water comfortably warm because the replacement water, from an on-site well, was coming out of the ground at about 58 degrees.
Eby hasn't received recent data yet about water use. And the district will never stop all leaks out of the Quarry because it still has some natural rock areas.
The district also installed a new stormwater drainage system.
For the second year in a row, the Quarry will open before Batavia public schools let out for the year. In 2010, the district waited until several days after school let out, saying its lifeguards weren't available for training and work before then. However, pools in nearby towns opened before their schools let out, including the Geneva Park District's Sunset Pool, which traditionally opens the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. After residents questioned the late start, the opening date was adjusted for the Quarry.
Batavia schools let out June 6.
For details about Quarry hours, admission prices and special events, visit bataviaparks.org/park14.htm.