Free admission at Edmonton outdoor pools again in 2019

For the third year in a row, the city of Edmonton is making admission at all outdoors pools free for summer 2019.

The free admission pilot, which initially waived pool fees between July and September 2017 as part of Canada 150 celebrations, saw 153,000 people visit city pools during that period — compared to 88,639 the year before.

The city has five outdoor pools: Queen Elizabeth in the river valley, Oliver near downtown, Fred Broadstock in the west end, Mill Creek in Bonnie Doon, and Borden near the Northland’s grounds.

Opening dates for two pools have been released. The city said Mill Creek pool will open Saturday, May 25, and Fred Broadstock will open Thursday, May 30.

All other outdoor pools will open in June and remain in operation — weather permitting — until the September long weekend.

Keep in mind, the city will close the pools if the temperature dips too low (below 18 C), during extreme weather like thunderstorms, and if there are private bookings.

Once they are open, the city will post pool status updates daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Four of the pools are regular chlorine pools, however the Borden Natural Swimming Pool is Canada’s first natural public swimming pool.

No chemicals are used in the water filtration process. Instead of salt or chlorine, water is cleaned through layers of rock, two regeneration basins full of plant and animal life, and the sun’s UV rays.

Because of that, there are additional guidelines swimmers need to follow, including using sunscreen that is free of phosphates and not wearing cotton in the water because it may contain dyes and other contaminants that hurt the plants.

The water is also kept a bit on the cooler side: the pool is heated to 23 C and relies on the sun for anything warmer. But if the water temperature increases to 29 C, everyone has to get out because of a greater potential for bacterial growth.

For more details on Edmonton’s outdoor pools, head to the city’s website.

Borden Park pool on June 21, 2018.

Borden Park pool on June 21, 2018.

The natural public swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

The natural public swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Edmonton’s new Borden Park outdoor pool.

Edmonton’s new Borden Park outdoor pool.

The natural public swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

The natural public swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Plans for Edmonton’s Borden Park Natural Swimming Experience.

The natural public swimming pool at Edmonton’s Borden Park Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

— With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News

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