Beccles Lido’s costly leak is finally plugged

A leak in Beccles' outdoor pool, which is estimated to have cost a council �100,000 in water bills over more than a decade, has finally been plugged – just weeks before the facility opens for the new season.

A leak at the pool, which reopens on May 28, has been suspected for many years, but a broken pipe was only discovered earlier this year.

The lido used to be run by Waveney District Council, but a combination of a lack of funds and its age led to it becoming run down and uneconomical. It reopened last August after years of hard work by community volunteers.

Before it reopened, a lot of work was done on the main tank to eliminate leaks, so volunteers were disappointed to find that water levels continued to fall, leading to higher bills than expected.

Its meter readings showed that they were using 60 cubic metres of water a day during the season, most of which was due to the leak.

Over the past 10 to 20 years, volunteers say the cost of the leak is likely to have been in the region of �100,000 at today's prices.

Since the leak was discovered, volunteers have excavated all the pipework to the shallow end of the main pool and toddlers' pools to ensure there are no more leaks.

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As part of the lido's British Gas-sponsored Green Streets project, two specialist engineers mended the broken pipe using super hard-setting resin-covered glass fibre.

Graham Norgate, the technical project manager and volunteer co-ordinator at the lido, said the leaks could have been happening for 10 years. 'We were leaking 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water a day out of that leak last year, after heating it first,' he added. 'What a waste of precious hot water. So another good job for the lido and for the environment and a further endorsement of our green credentials.'

Following the discovery of the leak, a spokesman for Waveney District Council said: 'We were aware of the crack and periodically completed repairs on various areas of the pool and plant to reduce the loss of water.

'However, we cannot be certain how long this specific issue has existed and any suggestion of the level of financial loss, however dramatic, is pure guess work. Nevertheless, we are very pleased that the new pool owners have rectified the problem.'

Today, work will be done to fill the refurbished filter tanks as work continues before next month's opening.

Future lido fundraisers include a concert at Beccles Public Hall on April 23 and an auction of promises at Waveney House Hotel on May 20.

To offer a promise for this event contact auction@beccleslido.com or call 01502 714911.

emily.dennis@archant.co.uk