KAILUA-KONA — The Kona Community Aquatic Center has closed indefinitely.
The facility shut down Friday after one of the sand filters stopped operating. Mason Souza, recreation administrator with the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, said the filters are what keep the pool clean.
“We can’t isolate the filter that’s giving us the problem,” Souza said. “This system is built in one.”
The bidding process to repair it is underway.
“We don’t want to Band-Aid it,” Souza said. “We want a permanent fix.”
It’s the most used county public swimming pool on island. From kids, to swim teams to triathletes training, the facility is frequented by a wide range of people. From July 2018 to the end of February, it saw 118,000 users.
“When the pool goes down, it impacts a lot of people,” Souza said.
With the facility out of commission, the Department of Parks and Recreation is urging swimmers to use the pool at Konawaena High School in Kealakekua. The department plans to staff the Konawaena pool and extend hours.
“I know it’s going to be inconvenient,” Souza said.
Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Maurice Messina said the department understands the high priority of getting the pool back online. While the cost is still unknown, he added funding for the repairs are available.
“We will find the money within our budget to fix it,” he said.
Alan Silverman is one of the regular users of KCAC. He’s been exercising with a senior group three mornings a week for the past five years.
Silverman and his group didn’t know about the closure until them came for class on Friday and saw the sign posted on the gate: “Pool will be closed until further notice, Mahalo!”
Confused, Silverman said he was able to get the attention of the lifeguard supervisor who explained there had been an equipment problem and was awaiting a repair crew to come check it out.
“We came by again over the weekend and saw the notices were still up,” he said. “We’re told there was no target date of opening at this point.”
Silverman’s exercise group varies from a dozen participants to about 25 people.
“The pool exercises are important for us because it’s much easier on your joints,” he said. “There are some members of the group who had surgeries who have used it as continued physical therapy.”
Aside from his group, Silverman said there are a lot of Ironman competitors who come to the pool to train.
Swim meets are also held at the pool.
“For so many different reasons it’s a really terrific community resource to have,” Silverman said.