Officials Have Plans to Improve All-Natural, Oft-Closed Webber Pool in Minneapolis

September 21, 2018 10:24 PM

Summer is officially over this weekend, and it wasn't a great season for the all natural pool in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board says the Webber Pool was closed for 33 of the 75 days. Officials say this summer, the third year since opening, was the worst yet in terms of opportunities to swim.


Webber Pool is the only public pool of its kind in the country using a natural filtration system instead of chemicals like chlorine.

RELATED: Webber Natural Swimming Pool Once Again Closed Due to Water Quality Issues

But Jeremy Barrick with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board admits this year was disappointing.

"About 44 percent of the time we were closed this year," said Barrick. "We certainly apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate their patience with us."

One of the main problems is wildlife using the pool for their own pleasure, leaving behind high levels of bacteria.

"We know we have to do something about ducks, and them taking up residency," Barrick said. 

RELATED: Webber Natural Pool Closed Again Due to Water Quality Issues

In three years combined, Webber Pool closed for more than 60 days because of water quality issues. 

"We've always said there is a three to five year learning curve," Barrick said. 

That's why year four is critical.

RELATED: Webber Natural Swimming Pool Closed Again

"We feel there's a couple other things we should be trying before we say nope this doesn't work," Barrick said. 

Barrick tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this offseason they're exploring design changes to the regeneration pond, a UV filtration system and even a laser deterrent that would go on the lights, similar to what's used at airports and resorts.

"It would create a visual laser field over the whole facility and the ducks would then be deterred from landing within," Barrick said. 

RELATED: Some Wonder if Minneapolis Natural Pool is Worth Trouble after Issues

With a team of experts meeting weekly, Barrick is confident one of these options will keep the pool open longer.

"We think we can do that over the winter and we'll be in a better spot next summer," Barrick said. 

If these options don't work out, Barrick says it will still be a pool for years to come. They may just look at making it saltwater or even chlorinated. 

In the winter, the pool does turn into an ice rink.


Brett Hoffland

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