Upcoming pool repairs may cancel Water Carnival

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The Pecos County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, Jan. 22 and held a workshop to discuss a handful of top-priority topics for the year of 2018. Among the many topics was the Comanche Springs Swimming Pool repairs, which will target the concrete walking area where the diving board was formerly mounted.

Judge Joe Shuster clarified that the repairs will not disturb the swimming pool itself.

During the workshop, Shuster said, “It’s going to be an epic process and it’s going to take a while. The pool will probably have to be closed until next summer, which means the Water Carnival will have to be canceled. They’ve had to cancel the Water Carnival before in the past. This is out of our hands; it’s Mother Nature.”

The underground repairs are to begin as soon as spring flow subsides.

Commenting on the springs having to dry up before work can begin, Shuster said, “The water started flowing sometime in December, and the springs have been flowing very good here lately. Last year, they stopped flowing on the last day of March. With the current spring flow, it looks like they could flow more than what they did last year.”

Shuster called Middle Pecos Groundwater District (MPGCD) General Manager Ty Edwards to confirm when the streams might vanish.

After consulting with Edwards, Shuster said, “Ty estimates that the springs will stop flowing between the end of March and possibly April 15. Remember, we’re dealing with Mother Nature here, so that time frame is just an estimate. If the springs do stop by April 15, it’ll take 15 to 30 days for it to dry up enough for work to begin underneath the pool. If that’s the case and it’s April 15, then we’re looking at work beginning between the first and fifteenth of May. If we were to start construction on May 15, our engineers are telling us that the repairs could take up to six months.”

Hanging in the balance of the unfortunate timeline is Fort Stockton’s annual Water Carnival, Miss Fort Stockton pageant, and summertime swimming at the pool.

“These repairs are not from a lack of maintenance. The water flows basically every year, and every year the water does a little bit of damage to the rock structure beneath the pool. The swimming pool itself is not in bad shape, because it’s not eroded like the outskirts where the water flows. This pool has been there since the late 50s, and so there’s been plenty of time for erosion to happen beneath the pool,” said Shuster in regard to the damages and upcoming repairs.

Sharing some final thoughts on the dilemma, Shuster said, “It’s an inconvenience to this community, because we’re all used to the Water Carnival. I think that the Water Carnival Board will be understanding of this situation. The longtime Water Carnival workers and folks will tell you that this isn’t the first time they’ve had to cancel the Water Carnival. Hopefully next year it’s back in business and going again.”

The Water Carnival Board did not make comment by press time, but will prepare a statement on the matter after their next meeting.

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