The city of Southfield announced it would be closing its pool for the rest of the year, as it was deemed it had a failing filtration system and mechanics, and inadequate structural integrity to the point where it was no longer safe to operate.

The city of Southfield announced it would be closing its pool for the rest of the year, as it was deemed it had a failing filtration system and mechanics, and inadequate structural integrity to the point where it was no longer safe to operate.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Southfield pool closed for rest of 2022

By: Mike Koury | Southfield Sun | Published July 14, 2022

SOUTHFIELD — Residents looking to cool off this summer at the Southfield Sports Arena pool will have to search elsewhere.

Southfield announced that the pool will be closed for the rest of the 2022 season due to failing mechanics and filtration systems, as well as “inadequate structural integrity,” making it “no longer safe to operate.”

The city’s pool, located at 26000 Evergreen Road, is more than 50 years old. The director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Terry Fields, stated it has been limping along for a couple years now.

Southfield has made repairs to the filter system, concrete and marcite, including a total of $30,000 to get the pool up and running last year. Unfortunately, Fields said, it can no longer be repaired.

“The mechanics, structure is not safe to operate,” she said. “We had to close it. … It’s over 50 years old. That’s the original filter system. It is out in the weather. It’s an outdoor pool, so that filter system is out in the weather as well. But we really had no choice. It’s not safe.”

Fields elaborated that, because of the pool’s age, they can’t get anyone to come in and make repairs.

“It’s not fixable,” she said. “A normal filter system, you would backwash maybe one time, two times a month. We had to do it five times a day. And what that means is that sand gets through that filter system and we have sand in the pool. So the structure, the mechanics itself, it’s not operable, and no one feels safe coming in to make those repairs.”

If the city did try to repair the pool, the estimated cost would be $2.5 million.

Southfield is directing residents looking to use pools or other aquatic facilities to the neighboring areas of Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Madison Heights, Waterford and Oak Park.

The city also stated it has an agreement with Oak Park to allow Southfield residents to use Oak Park’s aquatic center, at 14300 Oak Park Blvd., at its residential rates when people show a city ID. In addition to the reduced rate, there will be organized days for Southfield residents only at the pool. Those will take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 14. There will be free swimming, hot dogs, chips and a drink when residents show their ID.

Hours of operation and more information can be found at www.cityofsouthfield.com/news/southfield-sports-arena-pool-closed-2022-season.

One of the locations people can visit is the Lily Pad Springs in West Bloomfield, located at 6200 Farmington Road. It costs $6 for nonresidents to use.

“It’s the largest splash pad in Michigan. We’re encouraging all of our neighboring communities to come visit,” West Bloomfield Parks Marketing Manager Meagan Tehako said.

Tehako also noted that the city, while it doesn’t have a pool, does have a canoe and kayak launch at Marshbank Park, and a fishing pier.

On the splash pad, Tehako said they started doing Sensory-Friendly Mondays for those who struggle with those issues.

“Anyone who has any sensory type struggles, this particular session has reduced capacity, and some of the big sprayers, we turn those off,” she said. “It’s kind of a more welcoming experience for those sensory issues.”

As for what comes now, Southfield will be conducting a pool study for the next two months to evaluate its next steps.

From the Parks and Recreation master plan process, Fields said they’ve heard from residents an interest in an indoor pool, which would allow them to offer programming year-round and develop a lifeguard system to train people and gain some consistent staffing, which has been a challenger over the past few years.

“Now I’m not saying that there are people out there who are still interested in (an) outdoor (pool),” she said. “It really becomes a challenge, financially and sustainability wise, and opening up for three months, right? So we’re looking at our options. We’ve looked at a few cities. We’re going to continue that process, and then we’ll bring in some consultants to help us look at what our options are, what our next steps are.”

Fields stated that the city is reaching out to consultants to help them get information and to survey residents.

She also said there is no timeline with this process, as questions have to be answered, such as where the pool’s location would be, whether it’s enclosed, and how to ensure it is Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.

“We really want to be able to give our residents the designs and the opportunities and the amenities that are current,” she said. “There’s really a lot that would go into it, as far as a strategy for our department for the city. Whenever you take a look at new facilities or new sites or a new program … you really want to take into consideration how that affects your entire offerings in your entire services.”

For more information, contact the Southfield Parks and Recreation Department at (248) 796-4620.