Packed pools force city to turn some away

Posted at: 06/10/2013 8:08 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A lot of people around the metro spent the hot day indoors or at one of Albuquerque’s 14 pools. The pools were packed Monday and sometimes when that happens, the Parks and Recreation Department has to turn people away, but it’s for a good reason.

Lines and lines of New Mexicans were eager to jump in the cold pools at West Mesa Aquatic Center Monday.

“It’s hot. We want to go inside to swim,” said Nicole Fernandez, who brought her daughter to the center.

Fernandez made sure to get to the center at 8 a.m., just to make sure she got a ticket; a ticket for the 12:30 session.

On a Monday afternoon, there’s about 300 people enjoying the pool but the city has to actually set up different times to make sure there are enough lifeguards.

Some pools get 1,000 people throughout the day. They can’t hold everyone so turning people away is what happens.

“We don’t ever want a pool to be overcrowded. It’s very important for us to follow the state health code limits and Red Cross limits and keep the pool safe to make sure the lifeguards can pay attention to everybody that’s in,” said Brandon Gibson with the city.

Theresa and Brandon Gibson were one of those people who got to West Mesa a little too late.

“Yeah, we’ll come back. Maybe find someplace to eat and then come back and enjoy ourselves,” said Theresa Gibson.

We can all expect it to be sunny and warm this summer, so expect there to be lines of people at the city’s pools and be prepared to wait.