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Milton-Freewater pool opening delayed

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Milton-Freewater pool opening delay

City crews scrubbed surfaces of the Milton-Freewater public pool in 2019 to remove a failed coating product.

Milton-Freewater city officials announced on social media this week the town’s public pool will not open until at least July 11.

Earlier this month, city officials hoped the Joe Humbert Family Aquatic Center would be ready for use by July 4.

That was already about a month later than the normal opening date, a delay caused by planning around the COVID-19 pandemic and recoating the pool walls.

A failed coating product last year caused early closure for the season and took many staff hours to remove it.

However, the specialized product now being applied requires a number of controls, including optimal outdoor temperature and five days of zero precipitation, city manager Linda Hall said Thursday.

"It is super finicky type stuff and you have to be extremely careful about its application and curing time."

So far the summer weather, including last Saturday’s heavy rainfall, has been uncooperative for that timeline, she added.

The pool’s filtration system replacement also happened later than scheduled, thanks to disruptions in labor and materials because of the coronavirus, according to the city’s post.

Hall said while a July 11 opening is the new goalpost, it is impossible to know an exact date.

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Sheila Hagar can be reached at or 509-526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers health, social services and city government in Milton-Freewater, Athena and Weston in the Walla Walla Valley.