First, it was bathrooms and other equipment damaged at city parks.
Now we’re learning that vandals also hit a public pool on Oahu.
A viewer contacted us through the Report It feature on our website, asking about Salt Lake district pool’s heating system.
While it’s only used from November through February, we’ve learned the system has been plagued with problems for years.
On a warm day, swimming in the pool can be refreshing. “Other than that, you freeze your little buns. You really freeze your little buns, I’m not kidding you,” said swimmer Flash Chun.
“It’s just too cold to try to get in a workout,” said swimmer Jim Ferris.
So we asked the city, and found out the wires were torn out of the heat pump units. The city was able to rewire two of the three units.
Recently, the city has been dealing with vandalism at several Oahu parks, including incidents at Whitmore Village, Ala Moana and the North Shore, where it will cost the city nearly $500,000 to renovate the comfort station.
A city spokesperson said the heating system at the Salt Lake pool is beyond reasonable repair. He didn’t say when or how much it would cost to fix it, so we asked Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan, who represents the district.
“It is surprising. I was not aware that it was damaged,” Manahan said. “Last year, we appropriated about $450,000 to replace the heaters at Salt Lake District Park pool.”
He said $442,000 was appropriated to replace the pool’s heating system, a system that broke before.
In 2013, he was alerted to the broken heating system and it was fixed. He said it broke again the following year and in 2015, money was appropriated to replace it. The councilmember said he planned to talk to the parks department and police about the problem.
Vandals have hit public pools before. In 2012, copper thieves hit the pool at Kalihi Valley, but the pool has been repaired.