Sheridan Pool improvements underway
Replacing the nearly 50-year-old water filter
The Ruby Valley Swimming Club replaced the Sheridan pool filter Sept. 26.
A new fiberglass pool filter replaced the public pool’s original filter from 1969. It was evident that the 50-year-old water filter had passed its useful life with the increasing problems of water quality, temperature and flaking rust from the steel filter.
“It’s the heart of the community,” Ruby Valley Swimming Club President Mary Pat Graham said.
Each summer children in the community enjoy free swim and pool events like movie nights. People can also rent the Sheridan pool out for private parties.
As the only public pool in Madison County, the RVSC emphasized the water safety education opportunity that it provides the community. From June 15 to Labor Day, swimming lessons are offered five days a week.
Pool manager, Latesa Schrank, staffs the short operation season every year with six to eight lifeguards. The pool has provided many high school students with their first job as a certified lifeguard. RVSC pays the employee wages and operation costs.
“It takes a little bit of money to run the pool every year,” Graham said.
Warren and Carol Lee Swager were instrumental in establishing the pool in 1969. The town owns it and rents it to the RVSC for $1 every year.
The certainty of the Sheridan pool in the community has fluctuated over the years, primarily due to funding, but has always managed to get timely and unified support.
“About five or six years ago we really had to rally,” Graham said.
About a year ago, RVSC started fundraising for a new water filter. When water conditions were not up to code because of the aging filter, the pool would shut down until it returned to the required standards.
Replacing the filter cost about $20,000, which the Ruby Valley Swimming Club paid with private donations, community fundraising and a $1,500 grant from Northwest Farm Credit. With the help of volunteers and crane operators, the water filter was removed and replaced.
The cinderblock pump house was built around the steel water filter, making it impossible to haul out through the door. RVSC had to remove the roof and hire a crane from Helena to lift the 4,800-pound piece of equipment out.
The next step is replacing the pump, which an anonymous private donor paid the $10,000 cost.