The pool sits empty after a main flow pipe exploded.
the Gauntlet

U of C pool closed after burst pipe floods basement

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Patrons of the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre will have to wait a while before getting their feet wet again.

One of the main flow pipes to the pool burst Fri., March 23, releasing large amounts of water into the basement below the pool and endangering other sections of the Fitness Centre. Pool officials mobilized quickly to get the damage under control.

"We had to isolate the filter system in order to protect pool systems and other areas," said Aquatic Centre manager Dominique MacDonald. "Because it is a gravity-fed system, we had to wait until the water level became lower than the pipe to fully stop the flooding."

MacDonald added that the Calgary Fire Department was mobilized twice in addition to caretaking staff and students who skipped classes to squeegee the area and keep the water damage to a minimum. The support ultimately totaled almost 150 people.

"We were just lucky that it happened during the day in the morning when our aquatic supervisor [Marianne Grant] was there," said MacDonald. "If this had happened at night or on the weekend, the kinesiology complex could have flooded extensively. The damage would have been huge. Barring [the burst] not happening at all, this was the best set of circumstances."

The break comes as a result of deferred-maintenance on campus. Even though the section of pipes was isolated as weak and repaired, disaster wasn't prevented.

"I guess the repairs just didn't hold," said MacDonald. "The facility is 30-years-old now. Things like this are likely going to become more prevalent."

Many campus groups are affected by the breach, including the triathlon club, the master's swim club, the varsity team, the water polo team, kayaking and all fitness classes.

Despite the closure, the pool is still accepting registration for spring classes as the Aquatic Centre is slated to reopen April 16.