PEARL CITY, Hawaii (KHON2) — Some residents are happy not to see green on St. Patrick’s Day because the Pearl City District Park Pool looks clear again.
The once algae-ridden water has been treated with chemicals, but it is still not open to the public. KHON2 found out when folks could be able to take a dip.
The water in the Pearl City pool was filled with algae in September 2022. Chlorine treatments have taken care of the eyesore, but the pool has remained closed since 2018.
The Pearl City Neighborhood Board said it is a burden for seniors who used to exercise there.
“And, also, our children and this week is Spring Break,” said Pearl City Neighborhood Board Chair Larry Veray. “You know, if I look at the pool that I have in my homeowner’s association, I got the kids filled up in the pool right now! And, when we have a problem, we fix it immediately because that’s something that the children and our elderly need.”
There is a similar story just 10 minutes down the road at the Waipahu District park pool. It has been closed for years as well and recently received similar treatments as Pearl City.
“My children, we lived around, used to always come here,” said former Waipahu resident Carmen Ayakawa. “But, because it was closed, nobody comes anymore.”
The Department of Parks and Recreation said their goal is to reopen both pools in time for the City’s Summer Fun program, scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 13. The projects have been a learning process.
“In both cases, we had initial projects to repair the pump rooms; and when the contractors went in there, they found some other problems, mainly with the electric bonding in the pools,” said DPR spokesman Nate Serota. “So, we kind of had project after project as opposed to trying to consolidate it into one bigger project. So, moving forward, we’re looking at a lot of our other pools more holistically.”
Residents pointed out that the pools were not drained.
“When you dump all that chlorine in there, it’s still the same water,” Veray said. “So, you know, I guess parents are going to have to come out and take a look at it; and it’s their judgment.”
Serota said the water in both Waipahu and Pearl City will be extensively tested before a public reopening.
“There is kind of a sweet spot where we need to get the chlorine, where it’s high enough where it’s doing its job of keeping the water clean but also low enough so that it’s safe for human use,” Serota said.
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“But, I’ll stand by DPR. If they say it’s safe, then we’re going to go with that,” Veray said.