Municipal pools fill up during heat wave  

Municipal pools fill up during heat wave  

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Area pools have been busy with the recent heat wave. Meriden has seen an uptick in swimmers, and Southington has been steady. Plainville and Berlin pools have been filled to their reduced capacity with temperatures in the 90s for much of the past week.

Southington’s Memorial Park and Recreation Park pools opened on June 27. Southington Director of Recreation Dave Lapreay said the summer has been a success so far for the town’s two public pools.

“Thing are going really well,” Lapreay said. “We’ve had some busy days, but all in all we’ve had our guidelines and people have been accepting them. We are happy with the way things have gone and we are hoping that will continue in the coming weeks.”

Recreation and Memorial parks allow 50 people at a time at each pool. Once they hit capacity, new swimmers aren’t allowed until others leave. Lapreay said this has only happened a handful of times.

“It’s been so hot, people come for an hour and cool off and then leave,” Lapreay said. 

The pools are open only to Southington residents, seven days a week. Hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend.

In Meriden, the Hubbard Park pool opened on July 1 and has been busier than expected.

“Everything is going great,” Meriden Recreation Coordinator Kathy Matula said. “It’s much more crowded than anticipated. We had to implement two-hour blocks on busy days.”

The pool has a capacity of 55. Matula will get a text from a lifeguard at the pool once they have hit the limit and she updates the Meriden Parks & Recreation Facebook page, alerting followers.

“We’ve filled up whenever it’s been hot, especially on weekends,” Matula said. “We’ve only reached capacity a few times during the week.”

She added that it’s not as crowded in the evenings.

Pool hours are 1 to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week. There is sanitizing done every hour and everyone must of their temperature taken before they enter.

In Berlin, Percival Pool opened on July 1. Typically, Berlin has both of its public pools open in the summer, but just Percival is open in 2020 to town residents only.

Debbie Dennis, Berlin’s Superintendent of Recreation said things are going well.

“It’s a little different with the one pool open and restrictions,” Dennis said.

The capacity is 35 people.

Monday through Friday there are three sessions available, noon to 1:45 p.m.; 2:30 to 4:15 p.m. and 5 to 6:45 p.m.

On the weekends, swimmers are welcome noon to 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:15 p.m. Reservations are required.

“It’s a change for everyone,” Dennis said. “We have a person that reminds swimmers to wear masks when they are not in the water and also (make sure) that people stay in their designated spots that are separated by household.”

The pool is cleaned between sessions. 

In Plainville, Elizabeth Berner Pool at Norton Park opened on June 20. The pool is also just open to town residents. 

There are two blocks of time each day, from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. The splash pad is also open.

“So far things are going well,” Plainville Recreation Director Courtney Hewett said. “It’s a different situation and everyone is getting used to our new system. We’ve heard good feedback. People are happy the pool is open.”

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