After a lengthy and costly renovation, the Echo Deep Pool at the south end of Echo Park has proved to be one of the city’s most popular indoor swimming spots – when it’s open. The pool, sheltered under a sweeping roof of steel and glass, ers in Boyle Heights and Eagle Rock – that will be closed in upcoming months to install new drain covers.
The current construction work will make the Echo Park pool comply with the federal law but it’s not clear whether it will make for cleaner water. The cloudy water that disrupted pool operations is the result of everything from body lotion, washing machine detergent and, yes, probably urine, flowing into the pool, Bingham said. During the summer months, an average of 3,500 swimmers a week dive into the pool, Bingham said. One of the most frequent requests Bingham hears from residents city wide is: “Can you tell the kids to go to the bathroom before they go into the pool or after they get out of the pool?”
The Echo Park pool was closed twice during the summer so it could be partially drained and refilled with fresh, cleaner water. But that method only temporarily improved the quality of the water, Bingham said. “It’s a safety issue. It’s also a health issue.”
Bingham said department maintenance and construction crews are trying to work on a solution. “They are working avenues to make sure that [the pool] is up to par when it gets back up.”