The Bronte Ocean Pool is one of Sydney’s most popular ocean pools, and is a much-loved community destination for locals and visitors alike. Waverley Council is currently open to community feedback on proposed upgrades to the pool, which can be submitted on the Have Your Say page.
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said that Council has identified several issues relating to the Bronte Ocean Pool:
“The existing lining was installed to improve the surface of the pool, however, due to a number of environmental factors, the condition of the lining has deteriorated,” said Masselos. “Our engineers assessed the options to improve the surface of the pool, and their recommendation is to remove the lining, stripping the pool back to its concrete base.”
“The direct management of the concrete shell itself is the recommended option, and spot repairs will be carried out once the lining has been removed, which will leave the pool in a smooth and safe condition for swimmers.”
Pump and pumphouse
Investigations have shown that the pool’s pumphouse is at the end of its serviceable life and also needs to be replaced. The Mayor said that the current pumphouse poses a safety risk to council staff and contractors, and the structure itself is at risk of damage in the event of severe wave action during a storm. “The new pumphouse will be constructed in the same place as the existing one, as moving the pump equipment would introduce further environmental, construction, and operational risks.”
Masselos said the pool’s pump is no longer fit for purpose and has long lead times for replacement parts, which has meant occasional pool closures in the past. “The current pump is also not able to operate at the lowest tides (for about two hours a day), impacting the consistency of pool water quality and water levels in the pool. The replacement pump will require less regular maintenance by our staff and will reduce the complexity of the current system. This will provide more consistent and pleasant opportunities for people to use the pool.”
The stairs leading to the pumphouse are unsafe and need to be replaced. The existing stairs are not only non-compliant, but also direct people using them to the poolhouse. The Mayor said that the proposed new stair design will have extra risers and treads added for compliance, but also will be repositioned to direct people arriving at the pool towards the pool itself, providing a better user experience.
Upgrades to take place in 2024 and 2025
Masselos said that Council’s plan is to carry out upgrades to the pool in two stages over the next two winters, in order to minimise disruption to pool users. “These upgrades will require the pool to be closed, and Council acknowledges the impact this will have on members of the community who enjoy the pool regularly. Other ocean pools in the area are Mahon Pool in Maroubra, Wylies Baths in Coogee (entry fee applies), or Bondi Icebergs (entry fee applies).”
“The first stage will be the pool lining removal, which will take place over three months in winter 2024. We’ll be able to confirm exact dates for pool closure closer to the time.”
“The second stage will likely take place in winter 2025, and will involve the replacement of the pump equipment, pumphouse, and stairs.”
How to have your say
Written feedback can be submitted through the dedicated Have Your Say page.
The Mayor said “we are also holding an in-person session with the opportunity to speak with Council officers and project architects. People will be able to ask questions and share their thoughts on the planned upgrades.” The Have Your Say session will take place this week on Thursday 7 December from 8am-11am, opposite the amenities block at the Bronte Ocean Pool.