Barry Cribb well remembers teaming up with half a dozen of his mates, arming themselves with brooms and shovels and cleaning out the Yamba ocean rock pool by hand.
That started about 40 years ago and only finished when the then Maclean Shire Council offered to take over the maintenance.
It was a big relief for Barry and his team, but the Yamba resident retains a strong interest in the pool and still swims there regularly – daily when conditions suit.
And he’s pretty chuffed about the latest work Clarence Valley Council has done there.
For the past few years the pool has leaked and in the past 12 months had to be closed on several occasions because the water had fallen to a level that meant it was unsafe for swimming.
Council completed repairs to the pool more than a month ago and there appear to be no signs of leaks.
“It looks and feels nice and clean now,” he said.
“I’ve been swimming in there every day since it re-opened and everyone reckons it is great. It’s not losing any water now.”
Despite some interruptions to the work from Cyclone Oma, the work was completed on time and substantially under budget.
The savings have allowed the council to undertake further improvements at the pool site, including the replacement of ageing timber railings with stainless steel and the widening of concrete paths.
Project manager, council’s Justin Menzies, said working in a marine environment in sometimes unpredictable conditions provided plenty of challenges, but thorough planning and having contingencies meant they could be resolved with little impact on the project.
“We put a lot of effort into project management to make sure we deliver projects on time and within budget and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” he said.
“We’ve got pool users giving us the thumbs up each time we go there and that is really rewarding. That’s what you do it for.”
Mr Menzies said observations since the work was complete suggested the pool would stay clean for much longer following the works.
He said that before the repairs started, holes in the pool allowed sand to penetrate the base and the pool would be dirty with sand and decaying seaweed within a few days after cleaning.
“That’s not happening now and the only sand getting into the pool is coming over the top,” he said.
“That means it’s clean much longer and is much more attractive for users.
“It is a great result for pool users and Yamba.”