Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Ulladulla Sea Pool

Photos taken 13 January 2009

Called in at Ulladulla on the way home from Rosedale. Unfortunately, being a Tuesday, the pool was closed for its weekly clean.

From the NSW Ocean Baths website:

This concrete pool dates from the 1950s. One of the few formal ocean baths created at new sites along the NSW coast after WWII. These relatively recent ocean baths were once Ulladulla's best public venue for competitive and recreational swimming. Their ongoing significance to Ulladulla residents and visitors from NSW, ACT and elsewhere is demonstrated by recent community protests about possible closure of the pool or imposition of admission charges.

Plans of Ulladulla harbour show a quarry adjacent to the site of the current ocean pool. The apparent remnants of an older pool next to the current ocean pool are probably the remains of this 1895 quarry.

Work began on the construction of the ocean baths as a full-size Olympic pool, with lane markings. When completed, the pool did not fill with wave and tide action, so a pump was used to fill it.

On reviewing a regional environment study (including the ocean pool), consultants concluded the pool might have regional significance.

Shoalhaven City Council's Heritage Study rated the rock pool as high on historical and social aspects and moderate on aesthetic and social significance.

The Ulladulla Harbour Conservation Management Plan, noted that 'to the south of the working port, there is a separate rectangular shaped 'rockpool' enclosure' near the 'modern rendered pool set above the high watermark, set on a base constructed from cut stone pieces'.

The pool operated unsupervised until Shoalhaven City Council's risk consultants warned in December 2001 against continuing to operate the pool without supervision.

The Ulladulla Leisure Centre had superseded the ocean baths as Ulladulla's best swimming competition and training venue. Even so, there was resident uproar when the ocean pool was closed for a week in February, after Shoalhaven City Council ran out of funds to employ a lifeguard.

The Ulladulla sea pool had a consistent four-star Beachwatch rating for cleanliness, meaning it was not contaminated and was safe to swim in.

Storm damage meant simply making the pool safe for the next season was estimated to cost $43,000, while the cost of a completely new structure was estimated as around $700,000. Cr Watson said Shoalhaven City Council staff were investigating whether an insurance claim could be made against the year's storm damage, but conceded that even if the pool was saved, it was likely that the Council would have to levy an entrance fee. About 150 people a day used this free-to-use pool during the summer.

The pool was fully supervised in the swimming season.

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