Solar swimmers

Dandenong Ranges swimmers will be able to continue swim on cooler days during the next swim season.

Dandenong Ranges swimmers will be able to continue swim on cooler days during the next swim season, thanks to a solar heating system funded by the Australian Government.

As part of its $2.5 million investment in RidgeWalk through the Community Development Grants Programme, the Australian Government will be contributing up to $200,000 towards the solar heating system, which has been in use since the start of the year.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, welcomed the funding and said the heating will mean swimmers won’t be put off by cooler days in the next swim season in November.

“Though our outdoor pools in Yarra Ranges open from November-March, the reality is that the water can be quite cold unless it’s a sunny day with temperatures in the 30s,” Cr Stevenson said.

“This solar heating project will mean the water is comfortable for swimmers on cooler days, encouraging visitors to come to the pool more often and make the most of this fantastic, community-run facility.

“Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2021 has a goal of ensuring people in the community are physically active, and this project helps us to work towards that.

“The solar power will also mean the pool saves money on energy costs while reducing its impact on the environment through greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Olinda Community Pool Association, Olinda Community House and Council have been involved in the planning of the project.

Olinda Community Pool Association President, Duncan Brown, said the pool had seen an increase in visitation since the heating system was turned on.

“We’ve had plenty of positive feedback about the increase in pool temperature, which has clearly been reflected in our attendance,” Mr Brown said.

“This project has increased the patronage at the pool and encourages more people to get outside and be active.

“We, as a community group running the pool, have had excellent support from all levels of government, which really proves how well-used and well-loved the pool is.”

The Olinda Pool and outdoor pools across the Yarra Ranges are closed from Tuesday, 12 March