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£342K council plan to improve pools in Sandwell parks

Published 10th March 2020

Sandwell Council is set to invest £342,000 on improving pools in Sandwell parks.

The plans for eight pools, which will improve them for both wildlife and visitors, include major work to transform the pool at Smethwick Hall Park.
 
The council is also considering installing equipment to improve water quality at three other pools and setting up a pool maintenance team. 
 
The pools which will be benefit should the plans go ahead will include:
 Smethwick Hall Park, Smethwick

  • West Smethwick Park, Smethwick
  • Victoria Park, Smethwick
  • Victoria Park, Tipton
  • Haden Hill Park, Rowley Regis
  • Red House Park, West Bromwich
  • Mill Pool, Wednesbury
  • Hydes Road, Wednesbury

It follows issues at several pools in Sandwell parks where wildfowl have died. Tests on wildfowl from several sites proved inconclusive – however, avian botulism was identified as the possible cause of the deaths.
 
Measures to prevent the disease include maintaining good water quality, increasing oxygen levels and removing silt.
 
The plan for Smethwick Hall Park pool includes dredging the silt from the pool and making the pool itself around 50 per cent smaller, which would improve water quality and reduce flood risk.
 
The council also plans to fit diffuser equipment to aerate the water and improve oxygen levels at Smethwick Hall Park, West Smethwick Park, Victoria Park in Tipton and Victoria Park in Smethwick.
 
The council has worked with the Environment Agency, Severn Trent, RSPCA, Animal Plant Health Agency and Swan Watch on plans for the pools.
 
Deputy leader and cabinet member for safer communities Councillor Maria Crompton said: “We feel it’s important that we focus on improving the pools in our parks to make them great places for wildlife and for people to visit. 
 
“We have worked very closely on these plans with our partners including Swan Watch, particularly at Smethwick Hall Park where we will be reducing the size of the pool so we can more effectively ensure the water quality. 
 
“We’re looking at installing equipment to improve the water quality and we want a pools maintenance team working to regularly maintain the pools in our parks.”
 
The plan will be discussed by the council’s cabinet at a meeting next Wednesday (18 March).