• Germany's news in English

Councils with liquidity problems leave swimming pools out to dry

The Local · 21 Apr 2011, 14:49

Published: 21 Apr 2011 14:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Maintenance can be a burden in itself while renovations of old-fashioned and possibly even dangerous pools can be extremely expensive. At a time when local authorities are having to reduce expenditure, swimming often takes a back seat.

“Outdoor and indoor pools are both under serious threat,” said Martin Janssen, spokesman for the German Life Saving Association (DLRG).

He said at least 49 outdoor pools had fallen victim to budget cuts since 2007, while only three new ones, outdoor and indoor, have been built.

Around 230 pools are in acute danger, he said, pointing to Dresden where last year two of the 11 city open-air pools went bust – due to among other reasons, renovation costs which the city simply could not afford.

“Most outdoor pools were built in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Janssen. Since then it is often the case that little if anything has been invested to modernise them.

“Many are no longer attractive, or even in need of building work,” he said.

Apart from the social and health benefits of communities having swimming pools, Janssen pointed out that the lack made it increasingly difficult for children to learn to swim.

Even keeping the pools running can cost significant amounts of money, with the situation of the Wartbergfreibad in Pforzheim a good example. It had a deficit of more than €230,000 last year according to pools head Erich Forstner who also admitted there was €6 million worth of renovations waiting to be undertaken.

Story continues below…

When popular pools can no longer been kept above water, residents sometimes step into the breach. The Flussbad in Rostock had already been closed – the last one in the city – when locals got together, collected donations and paid for the pool to be renovated. Similar projects have been established in Pforzheim and Karlsruhe said Janssen.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:03 April 21, 2011 by cobalisk
Considering this country has a booming economy I find this very hard to stomach. Clearly the cuts are being made in the wrong places...
09:18 April 22, 2011 by catjones
This story precedes the one below v v v v v .

How can business confidence take a 'dip' at the same time pools are closed?
22:56 April 22, 2011 by jmclewis
It will be a nice summer with no place for the Kids to go they can hang out in the neighborhood... smoking, drinking and making nice urban art. This will save allot of money for the residents.
10:42 April 27, 2011 by raandy
Closing pools and other recreational places is the last thing you should cut as these all help people maintain their sanity in an increasingly crazy world .
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd