On June 10th, Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) shared the guidelines by which municipal pools would need to follow to safely operate this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. To name a few, the guidelines call for occupancy limits of 50% of capacity, visitor logs that track name and contact information for every person that enters the facility, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures, daily health screenings of all pool staff, and social distancing requirements both in and out of the water. There are more restrictions. Implementation would require the pool to increase staffing and purchase additional materials which will lead to significant increases in operating expenses.
Due to the strict guidelines, WaterWorks cannot operate as it has previously. For instance, changes within the facility would have to be made that would impact patron satisfaction. Lounge chairs and picnic tables would have to be removed. The playground, slide and diving boards would not be open. Bathrooms and pool areas would have to be closed periodically for cleaning. Entrance and exits to the facility would have to be modified.
After careful consideration of the guidelines, the costs associated with implementing the health guidelines, liability concerns and patron safety concerns, we have decided to not open the complex to membership this summer.
The facility still has some operational expenses even if we do not open for the summer. In order to offset some of these costs, we will be renting out the lap pool only to several area swim teams for practice sessions only. These teams have many children from West Windsor and surrounding areas. Team use will follow strict COVID-19 prevention guidance from health officials for sport activities and the limitations imposed by the competitive swimming association for conducting practices during the pandemic.
We will be using the down time this summer to make some improvements to the facility as well. We hope to open for the 2021 season better than ever before!