This story published in the Peninsula Clarion.

The Nikiski Pool is closed until further notice due to a failing septic system. It could be a while before programs and open swim are up and running again.

Rachel Parra, recreation director for the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area, said she is working to get the pool back open as soon as possible.

Right now, the Nikiski Pool is only open for showers, use of the fitness room and courts. Open swim, lap swim, hot tub, waterslide and swimming lessons are canceled. The pool’s lifeguard class will continue through Oct. 12.

The service area is managing temporary problems with a weekly pumping of the system, Parra said in a September memo to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Parra said issues with the septic system came up during the pools annual maintenance check in September. The septic system, which includes a 3,000-gallon tank and trench leach field, was installed in 2002.

“The septic system is in a state of failure and needs to be replaced,” Parra said.

At Tuesday’s Borough Assembly meeting, an ordinance making $50,000 from the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area’s operating fund available for a new septic system was introduced in the agenda.

According to the ordinance, the system has reached the end of its useful life and is malfunctioning, resulting in leaks on the ground’s surface and backups into the facility.

The North Peninsula Recreation Service Area board recommends completely replacing the existing septic system, which would cost around $50,000 and include engineering, a geotechnical investigation of soils, the demolition of the existing system, the construction of the new system, project administrative services and a site restoration that includes all of the affected areas, according to the ordinance.

Public hearing for the ordinance will be at the Oct. 23 Borough Assembly meeting.

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