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Chill Soon to Be Off Raetihi Pool

Chill Soon to Be Off Raetihi Pool

The chill will soon be off the Raetihi pool with the announcement of a successful tenderer to install a solar water heating system for the pools and showers.

Geoff Anderson the chairperson of the community group ‘Chills Off Trust’ that has fund raised to make improvements to the pool over many years said that this was a fantastic milestone for Raetihi and especially for Raetihi’s kids.

“The Raetihi community can be really proud of their efforts in raising funds and working with Ruapehu District Council (RDC) who own the pool to make this project a reality,” he said.

“The Trust would like to thank the many volunteers for their involvement as well as the mayor funding contributors.”

“We have received $158,000 from the Lotteries Board for heating and building improvements, $40,000 from Powerco which went toward a pool cover and the solar heated showers and $20,000 from the Whanganui Community Foundation.”

“In addition to the solar heating project since last season improvements have been made to the changing areas.”

“Not only will the heating of the pool increase its recreational value but it will enhance the ability to teach our kids to swim and give them water safety skills.”

“With Water Safety NZ saying that children in NZ today are less able to swim than they could a generation ago this project will help provide greater opportunities to turn that around for our local kids.”

Mr Anderson added that being a solar system that running costs can be kept at a minimum.

“The successful supplier was chosen from a pool of ten who submitted tenders under a competitive open tender process managed by council.”

“It was excellent to have so many tenders submitted however it gave council the unenviable task of working through a lot of technical detail to come to the right conclusion and select the successful bidder,” he said.

“Fortunately we were able to access the specialist skills of council chief executive, Peter Till, who in one of his previous lives was an engineer involved with pool heating.”

Mr Till said that the successful tenderer provide the best combination of upfront price, running costs, ease of installation and maintenance and megawatt output.

“In other words their proposal will provide the biggest amount of heat for our buck,” he said.

“The chosen vendor also put forward one of the more simple solutions.”

“This will allow more money to be spent on the solar cells and hence more heat delivered to the pools.”

Mr Till noted that selected solution consists of three separate banks of solar cells, one for each of the pools and one for the showers.

“These will output around 130MWh of heat which would cost around $30,000 worth of power per annum if you wanted to heat the pool off the mains grid,” he said.

“We are aiming to heat the smaller children’s pool to 320C and the big pool to 280C.”

“These water temperatures are definitely not a ‘spa bath’ experience but are a significant jump on the average water temperature in the pools last summer which varied between 190C and 220C.”

Mr Till said that all going well work on the installation of the solar panels would get underway in late January.

“Once installed it will take a little while for the pools to heat up to their target temperatures but Raetihi locals should be able to look forward to a noticeable warmer swimming experience before the pools close for the season.”


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