Maintenance and repairs at Malabar Ocean Pool, one of Sydney’s most popular ocean pools, will ramp up this year.
The pool’s pump, which circulates ocean water in and out to keep the pool fresh, was damaged on January 9 resulting in the pool being closed for the weekend. Randwick City Council’s staff were able to repair the pump on January 10 and restore operation.
In response, Council will now inspect the pool twice weekly over the summer season, up from weekly inspections previously. The pool is also completely cleaned every two weeks by emptying, pressure washing, and refilling.
“The Malabar Ocean Pool is a popular and much-loved place for residents and visitors,” Randwick Mayor Philipa Veitch said. “The maintenance services and additional inspections over summer will help reduce outages in the future.
The mayor cited challenges with the current underwater pump including the harsh marine environment and tidal issues for access.
“Council staff are currently finalising plans for a new pump system to be located above ground and away from the pool. The design will provide for increased reliability and easier maintenance and is scheduled for completion in winter,” Mayor Veitch said.
Later this year, Council will also conduct a major clean-out of built-up sediment on the pool floor for the first time in years. New signage about cleaning schedules will additionally be installed.
Malabar Ocean Pool Cleaning
Nestled along the coast below Randwick Golf Club, Malabar Ocean Pool offers spectacular views over Long Bay and the nearby rifle range. The iconic pool sits adjacent to Malabar Beach in Long Bay, providing easy access to the water. A ramp leads down to the pool deck for visitors.
Keeping with environmentally-friendly practices, Council maintains the ocean pools without using any chemicals. Instead, council staff regularly inspect the pools and utilise steam cleaning when needed.
The cleanliness of Malabar Ocean Pool can fluctuate with changing weather and tidal conditions. Algae build up on the steps, walls, and floor, as well as seaweed and other debris washed in from high tides, is common. The pool’s water inlets rely on the tides, with pumps programmed to circulate fresh ocean water at high tide when conditions permit.
Council staff regularly remove weed from the pool when possible, but are unable to remove seagrass which is protected under NSW Department of Primary Industries legislation safeguarding mangroves, seagrasses, and seaweeds on public waterways and foreshores.